Operation Lone Star Escalates Unprecedented Border Security Efforts
Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard are continuing to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into Texas; and prevent, detect, and interdict transnational criminal behavior between ports of entry.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 325,000 migrant apprehensions and more than 21,900 criminal arrests, with more than 19,400 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 352 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
Texas has also bused almost 8,400 migrants to our nation's capital since April, over 3,800 migrants to New York City since August 5, and more than 1,200 migrants to Chicago since August 31. This week, the first bus of migrants departed for Philadelphia from Texas (story below). The busing mission is providing much-needed relief to our overwhelmed border communities.
Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration's refusal to secure the border. Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Biden's open border policies.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
Governor Abbott this week sent a letter to President Joe Biden highlighting the record-breaking level of illegal immigration at America’s southern border caused by the President’s sustained dereliction of duty enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. The Governor notes that the federal government’s failure to execute America’s immigration laws has forced the State of Texas to protect its own territory.
“Two years of inaction on your part now leave Texas with no choice but to escalate our efforts to secure our State," reads the letter. "Your open-border policies, which have catalyzed an unprecedented crisis of illegal immigration, are the sole cause of Texas having to invoke our constitutional authority to defend ourselves."
The Governor’s letter outlines America’s current immigration laws the President must enforce to satisfy the federal government's constitutional obligation to safeguard its citizens, including:
- Aggressively prosecuting illegal entry and illegal reentry.
- Complying with laws mandating that various categories of aliens “shall” be detained.
- Stopping parole for aliens en masse in violation of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
- Fully reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols, such that aliens seeking admission remain in Mexico while proceedings unfold in the United States.
- Immediately resuming construction of the border wall in Texas, using the billions of dollars Congress has appropriated for that purpose.
Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday ordered DPS and the Texas Military Department (TMD) to expand their unprecedented efforts to combat the growing illegal immigration along the Texas-Mexico border. In a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw and TMD Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, the Governor outlined the need for the Operation Lone Star partners to defend Texas against what amounts to an invasion of America's southern border.
“Until Congress acts or the Biden Administration does its constitutionally required job, Texas guardsmen and troopers must bear the burden of securing the border,” reads the letter. “I order you to use all resources and tools available to repel immigrants from attempting to cross illegally, arrest those who cross illegally and return them to the border, and arrest criminals who violate Texas law.”
On Monday, the Governor sent a letter to county judges in Texas explaining his Executive Order that invokes the Invasion Clauses of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions to fully authorize the unprecedented actions Texas is taking to secure the border amid an all-time record for illegal immigration, including devoting more than $4 billion toward border security and enhanced public safety measures.
As Governor of Texas and commander-in-chief of its military forces, Governor Abbott has used constitutional authority, other authorization, and Executive Orders for historic actions such as building a border wall in multiple counties along the border, designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations, and repelling immigrants seeking to enter illegally.
On Tuesday, Governor Abbott announced the departure of the first group of migrants bused to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Texas. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has long-celebrated and fought for sanctuary city status, making the city an ideal addition to Texas' list of drop-off locations.
"Since April, Texas' busing strategy has successfully provided much-needed relief to our border communities overwhelmed by the historic influx of migrants caused by President Biden's reckless open border policies," said Governor Abbott.
Following the resignation of Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus this week, DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez told Fox News that the ongoing border crisis will only be resolved if the Biden Administration reinstates the effective border policies President Trump enacted. Lt. Olivarez also described the staggering amount of smuggled fentanyl DPS troopers have seized in Texas.
“Unfortunately, unless there’s a significant change, we’re going to continue seeing this over the next two years,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We’re going to continue seeing mass migration, we’re going to continue seeing fentanyl pouring across the border, we’re going to continue seeing human smuggling events, and of course some of the illegal immigrants coming across will lose their lives. Not to mention the known gotaways and suspected terrorists coming across the border.”
Texas National Guard Assists With Apprehension Of Over 200 Illegal Immigrants
Texas National Guard soldiers assisted with the apprehension of more than 200 illegal immigrants in an incident earlier this month in Eagle Pass after a steady stream of illegal river crossings was reported.
“It is important to give out clear instructions when handling big groups like these before it turns into chaos,” said Staff Sgt. Ernesto Delgado. “A lot of the folks crossing become extremely disoriented and are not sure what is going on or what their next steps are.”
A human smuggler from California led DPS troopers on a high-speed vehicle pursuit in Val Verde County. The driver rammed through a ranch gate and drove onto a dirt road before eventually stopping and running into the brush along with 14 illegal immigrants.
The driver was arrested and charged with human smuggling. The 14 illegal immigrants from Mexico were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.
DPS Finds 19 Illegal Immigrants Hiding In Vehicles, Stash House In Laredo
As part of Operation Lone Star, DPS troopers stopped three vehicles concealing 19 illegal immigrants and located a stash house in Webb County. After noticing suspicious activity involving several vehicles in a parking lot in Laredo, DPS located a total of 15 illegal immigrants in three separate vehicles in three different locations. An additional four illegal immigrants were then located inside a suspected stash house.
The 19 illegal immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala were referred to Border Patrol. Two individuals were also arrested and charged with human smuggling.
The ongoing border crisis had brought on a wave of crime in Mission before the Texas National Guard and DPS came to the assistance of overwhelmed local law enforcement.
“We really appreciate them being here; it’s a big plus for our community, the state, and our nation,” said Arturo Flores, Mission Police Department. “It shows presence and that we’re working in unity. It deters a lot of crime.”
Texas National Guard, DPS Practice Show-Of-Force Mass-Migration Response
Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers held fortified positions along the Rio Grande River during a recent show-of-force mass-migration response exercise.
“The joint tactical environment helps train our troops in the event we need to respond to a mass-migration event with overwhelming force," said Capt. Nerissa Rodriguez of the Texas Air National Guard and Director of Operations for Task Force South.