Operation Lone Star Fortifies Border Barriers Ahead Of Spring Influx
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 352,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 25,000 criminal arrests, with more than 23,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 365 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.
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 on Tuesday spoke with El Paso’s KFOX to highlight the ongoing need for Texas’ border security mission as President Biden continues refusing to enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Despite the Biden Administration publicly denying the reality of the border crisis, the Governor pointed out that Operation Lone Star was not necessary under the previous administration, when the lowest number of border crossings in decades was reported.
“They have to, at a minimum, enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books that make it illegal for people to enter the United States in places other than official ports of entry, and [federal officials] simply are not doing that,” said Governor Abbott. “They said people don’t just walk across the border, when, in fact, they are just walking across the border. They’ve never been accurate about anything they’ve said about border security.”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined Newsmax this week to discuss the Biden Administration’s latest plan that would grant parole to certain groups of migrants, which he says will create a magnet for illegal immigrants to cross into the United States. DPS says the plan would condone illegal immigration by allowing people into the country who do not meet the criteria for seeking asylum.
“This is a complete abuse of the asylum process, as well as the parole process,” said Lt. Olivarez. “You may see numbers decrease between points of entry, but it’s about hiding the optics of large groups coming across the border. The federal government does not want the American people and media to see that. It’s only going to make the situation worse, especially in the long run.”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez spoke with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto about the expected increase in illegal border crossings and gotaways in the coming spring and summer months. Even with the Biden Administration's CBP One mobile app now in place, DPS and Operation Lone Star partners are not seeing any decrease in the flow of mass migration and transnational criminal activity.
“As we look at the previous two fiscal years, starting in March and going into the summer is when we see the increase in border encounters and more criminal activity—smuggling cases and drugs coming across,” said Lt. Olivarez. “In January and February, we still had over 100,000 encounters at the border, which is unacceptable. Going into the spring and summer, we anticipate seeing a continued increase in activity from the prior years.”
This week, engineers from Special Response Team 4, a combination of soldiers from the Texas National Guard and Texas State Guard, strengthened border barriers near El Paso. An additional 17,000 feet of double standard razor wire was added to the existing wire to help prevent illegal border crossings. In the past month, the team has installed more than 40,000 feet of razor wire.
“Everything we do here impacts our community directly, regardless of whether it’s here or Eagle Pass or Del Rio,” said Sergeant Dale Banda Gwak. “When you talk to the people who actually live in these communities, they’ll tell you that us being out here on the line has made a difference. It helps make their communities safer.”
Border Czar Banks Visits Texas National Guard Soldiers Stationed Along Border
Texas Border Czar Mike Banks visited the Rio Grande Valley this week to speak with Texas National Guard soldiers deployed as part of Operation Lone Star. Soldiers from Alpha Company in Task Force East’s area of operations shared insight and feedback with Border Czar Banks regarding the mission and their partnership with law enforcement to stop and deter transnational criminal activity.
“One of the things we’re doing is working with state, local, and county law enforcement in order to provide them with assistance through Operation Lone Star grants and step up the patrols we have,” said Border Czar Banks. “We’re also looking to build infrastructure, as well as technology in the form of drones by boosting up drone capability significantly.”
A DPS trooper stopped a SUV in Kinney County and discovered the driver from Houston was smuggling eight illegal immigrants, including a 5-year-old child. The driver was arrested and charged with human smuggling. All eight illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.
A human smuggler led a DPS trooper on a vehicle pursuit through a private ranch in Brooks County. The smuggler was driving a cloned work-style truck and activated their emergency lights in an attempt to blend in. The driver sped up and rammed into a ranch fence and bailed out. Eight illegal immigrants were found hiding in the brush. All were apprehended and referred to Border Patrol.
DPS Special Agents Locate 46 Illegal Immigrants In Stash House In Webb County
DPS special agents from the Criminal Investigations Division located a stash house in Webb County with 46 illegal immigrants hiding inside. The agents noticed suspicious activity at a residence in Laredo one evening, and through further investigation discovered the illegal immigrants, including 32 males and 14 females from Mexico and Guatemala.
Border Patrol arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico, a deported felon wanted by Border Patrol for an immigration violation. He will also face federal charges for smuggling of persons.
DPS Arrests Group Of Illegal Immigrants On Private Ranch In Eagle Pass
A DPS brush team arrested a group of illegal immigrants on a private ranch in Eagle Pass. One of the males in the group, who was originally from Honduras, had previously escaped from DPS custody in December and absconded. In addition to the criminal trespass charge, he is also now charged with escape.