Back in March of 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott began “Operation Lone Star,” an effort to use state resources to stem the flow of illegal immigrants along the Texas border with Mexico.
The Biden border crisis has Texas looking for novel approaches to mitigate some of the damage being done – and Governor Abbott’s latest tactic is designed to stop the Biden administration from releasing apprehended illegal immigrants into the country.
The joint effort between the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department is charging illegal immigrants who cross the border with state crimes, so they can’t be simply turned over to the feds.
OPERATION "LONE STAR"
— Christine A Wheeler (@LittleBitLess1) October 24, 2021
How Operation Lone Star Works
Some of the state-level charges include things like trespassing, drug possession, or weapons possession.
A favorite tactic of the Biden administration has been to simply release individuals into the U.S. with an NTA – a “notice to appear” before an immigration judge.
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Sometimes, they don’t even do that. The AP reported in April that the feds weren’t even doing that – they were merely booking people and then letting them go.
So far, Operation Lone Star has seen 7,700 individuals with state charges filed against them.
Renee Eze, spokeswoman for Gov. Abbott stated:
“The governor has directed DPS troopers to enforce all federal and state criminal laws, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, and in July ordered National Guard soldiers to begin assisting DPS with arresting individuals for state charges related to the border crisis.”
Further, Texas has called up the state’s National Guard to help with the border crisis – another unprecedented move.
Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz: "The [Trump-era] Migrant Protection Protocols ("Remain in Mexico") was one of the safest ways to manage the border environment." #BidenBorderCrisis https://t.co/0ypSNZ3FG0
— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) October 22, 2021
DPS And National Guard Response To Operation Lone Star
Texas DPS Director Steven McGraw has said previously that this is the first time in its history that the National Guard has been utilized in this capacity.
McGraw said, “We will soon be in a position to actually deter transnational crime, rather than react to it after it spreads throughout the state and nation.”
Brigadier General Monie R. Ulis, Operation Lone Star’s Commander, echoed the statements of McGraw, “The Texas National Guard is surging personnel, equipment and capabilities to the Texas and Mexico border region in support of Operation Lone Star. As we build our force, we remain ready to detect, block and apprehend individuals and groups conducting illegal activity.”
The Biden Administration is AWOL at the southern border.
Texas has thousands of National Guard & @TxDPS officers, including Texas Rangers, deployed to secure the border.
The Lone Star State stopped the surge of illegal immigrants in Del Rio & we're prepared to do it again. pic.twitter.com/zmrHJ8HNIO
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 25, 2021
Plans To Expand The Program As Cartels Get More Aggressive
As the steady stream of illegal immigrants shows no signs of stopping, there has also been talk of expanding Operation Lone Star to include the construction of border barriers and fences. Gov. Abbott has said in the past that he would finish the border wall in Texas that former President Donald Trump started.
Operation Lone Star is coming to fruition at a good time. In the wake of Texas recently being hit with an influx of Haitian immigrants from South America, Texans are being told to get ready for yet another caravan of immigrants heading to the border.
And if another surge of migrants is not enough, Abbott recently said during an appearance on the Fox News Channel that Mexican drug cartels are getting more aggressive all the time. Some cartel members have shot at National Guard troops stationed in Roma, Texas from the Mexican side of the border.
Abbott continued saying, “This is escalating into a firing war on each side of the border where Texas and our National Guard are having to defend themselves and defend the state of Texas.”
Currently, DPS has identified 23 “high priority” areas they are focusing on.
"Members of the Texas state guard are on the ground constructing strategic barriers in support of Operation Lone Star. Texas is also building a border wall to halt the influx of illegal immigrants and deadly drugs coming into our state," said Abbott.https://t.co/1HBsvYVhp8
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) October 22, 2021
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