Governor Abbott Holds Call With Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, County Judges To Discuss Border Security Efforts
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott today held a call with members of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition and county judges from border communities to discuss the State's ongoing efforts to secure the border and quell the influx of unlawful migrants coming into Texas. During the call, the Governor and state leaders provided an update on Operation Lone Star (OLS) and thanked the sheriffs and county judges for their ongoing partnership to address the border crisis.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up border security funding. The Governor urged border sheriffs and county judges to make their voices heard to the committee and members on the urgent need for this additional funding to secure the border. Governor Abbott named border security funding as a priority item for the first and second 2021 Special Sessions. During the call, the Governor also urged legislators to swiftly act on this item, especially since a quorum has been established, in order to keep communities safe and help secure the border.
"I am grateful for the border sheriffs and county judges who are partnering with the State of Texas to crack down on crimes along the border and keep our communities safe," said Governor Abbott. "We have made great progress to address this crisis, but more funding is needed to bolster our border security efforts which is why I am urging border sheriffs and county judges to testify in front of the House Appropriations Committee next week on the need for additional funding. Due to the Biden Administration's inaction on the border crisis, our partnership with these local leaders is more important than ever as we step up to mitigate the rise in illegal border crossings and prevent the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into our state."
Since the launch of OLS, over 4,300 arrests have been made by the Texas Department of Public Safety for charges including criminal mischief and criminal trespass. Additionally, OLS has led to the confiscation of drugs and illegal firearms — including over 700 pounds of cocaine, 127 pounds of fentanyl, over 8,700 pounds of cannabis, and over 260 firearms to date. In July 2021, more than 212,000 people attempted to illegally cross Texas' southern border — the largest number since 2000.
The Governor was also joined for the call by:
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
- Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw
- Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd
- Texas National Guard Adjutant General Tracy R. Norris
- Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood
- Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Executive Director Kim Vickers