Texas Bolsters Historic Border Response To Combat Human Smuggling

October 27, 2023 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

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 activity between ports of entry.

Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 480,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 35,700 criminal arrests, with more than 32,500 felony charges reported. In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized over 434 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.

Texas has also bused:

  • Over 12,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
  • Over 21,800 migrants to New York City since August 2022
  • Over 17,200 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
  • Over 3,200 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
  • Over 5,100 migrants to Denver since May 18
  • Over 1,000 migrants to Los Angeles since June 14

Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created 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 Joe Biden’s open border policies.


Governor Abbott: Texas Will Combat Human Smuggling, Stash Houses

During Special Session #3, Governor Abbott called on lawmakers to combat border-related criminal activity—including human smuggling, operating a stash house, and other crimes committed by ruthless cartels—through enhanced criminal penalties.

This week, legislation increasing penalties for human smuggling and stash house operations passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature.

Governor Abbott: Key Border Security Legislation Passed By Texas House

After Governor Abbott included border security legislation as agenda items on Special Session #3, the Texas House of Representatives this week passed bills to combat the dangerous consequences of President Biden’s open border policies.

The legislation would criminalize illegal entry into Texas, authorize the removal of illegal immigrants by licensed law enforcement, and provide more funding for the Texas border wall.

Texas Sues Biden Administration For Cutting State’s Razor Wire

This week, the State of Texas sued the Biden Administration over Border Patrol agents cutting the state’s concertina wire along the Rio Grande River. Governor Abbott pointed out it is illegal to destroy state property.

Governor Abbott: Texas Is Ramping Up Historic Wall Construction Along Border

As President Biden continues to abandon his constitutional duty to secure America’s southern border, Governor Abbott is ramping up construction of the state's historic border wall to protect Texans. This week, new sections of Texas’ border wall went up in Cameron and Maverick counties.

Texas is the first and only state in U.S. history to build its own border wall.

Governor Abbott: Texas Bused Over 60,000 Migrants To Sanctuary Cities

To provide relief to overwhelmed border communities, Texas continues to bus migrants to self-declared sanctuary cities. Since April 2022, more than 60,000 migrants on over 13,500 buses have been sent to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles.

WATCH: DPS Provides Up-Close Look At Operations On Fronton Island

ABC 5 News in the Rio Grande Valley joined DPS this week to report on recent law enforcement efforts to retake Fronton Island in Starr County from control of dangerous Mexican cartels. Recently declared state territory by the General Land Office in September, the 170-acre island in the Rio Grande River had been a hot spot for cartel criminal activity, including drug and human smuggling. Last month, DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers began patrolling Fronton Island and installing concertina wire along the riverbank.

“We have to send a message that we are going to take control of the island,” said DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez. “This is the most violent region on the Texas-Mexico border. These are armed gunmen that are coming across, ammunition. Border Patrol found an explosive.”

WATCH: Texas National Guard Sees Success From Surge Operations Along Border

Texas National Guard reinforced multiple locations along the southern border by adding personnel and equipment to areas most frequently used by large groups of illegal immigrants attempting to cross into Texas.

Personnel and tactical vehicles in Brownsville blocked large groups of illegal immigrants near the Gateway International Bridge. Texas National Guard engineers also reinforced triple-strand concertina wire that was damaged by criminals. In Eagle Pass, soldiers conducted operations to deter and repel illegal immigrants between International Bridge I and Camino Real International Bridge. Soldiers in El Paso conducted large-scale blocking operations near the downtown area. Over the past year, soldiers installed more than 20 miles of triple-strand concertina wire along the south and west sides of El Paso along the Rio Grande River. Soldiers also conducted foot patrols along the barriers between highly trafficked illegal border crossing locations.

WATCH: Human Smuggler Leads DPS On High-Speed Pursuit In Kinney County

During a traffic stop in Kinney County, a DPS trooper used a PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle after it attempted to drive off. During the high-speed pursuit, several illegal immigrants bailed out and ran toward the brush. The driver eventually stopped and was arrested.

The trooper discovered a handgun and two more illegal immigrants inside the vehicle. The driver told authorities he was paid $1,000 per person to smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. He is charged with evading arrest and smuggling of persons.

WATCH: DPS Observes Raft With Migrants Attempting Illegal River Crossing

DPS troopers conducting drone surveillance captured illegal immigrants on board a raft crossing the Rio Grande River. The raft made landfall on the U.S. side, and the illegal immigrants ran into a neighborhood toward a waiting vehicle. A trooper located the vehicle, which was driven by a 14-year-old Laredo resident.

After a short pursuit, the teen bailed out and ran into a house. He was arrested and charged with evading arrest and smuggling of persons. Three illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.

DPS Apprehends Illegal Immigrants Smuggling 150 Lbs. Of Narcotics

As part of Operation Lone Star, DPS’ Aircraft Operations Division recently prevented a group of illegal immigrants from smuggling 150 pounds of narcotics south of Van Horn in Culberson County. Three illegal immigrants from Mexico were apprehended for smuggling the drugs through the desolate terrain.