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 373,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 28,000 criminal arrests, with more than 25,000 felony charges reported. In the fight against fentanyl, Texas law enforcement has seized over 402 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 Joe Biden’s open border policies.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
Governor Abbott on Monday announced the deployment of the new Texas Tactical Border Force to the Texas-Mexico border to respond to the growing border crisis. With President Biden ending Title 42 yesterday, the Governor is enhancing Texas’ unprecedented border security efforts with the tactical deployment of hundreds of Texas National Guard soldiers to join the thousands already deployed as part of Operation Lone Star and serve on the new border force for targeted responses as the nation braces for a spike in illegal immigration.
“With the ending of Title 42 on Thursday, President Biden is laying down the welcome mat to people across the entire world, but Texas is deploying our new Texas Tactical Border Force,” said Governor Abbott. “The Texas National Guard is loading Blackhawk helicopters and C-130s and deploying specially trained soldiers for the Texas Tactical Border Force, who will be deployed to hotspots all along the border to help intercept and repel large groups of migrants trying to enter Texas illegally.”
On Thursday, Governor Abbott and Texas Border Czar Mike Banks spoke with Fox News in their first joint interview about the unprecedented surge of illegal immigrants President Biden is inviting into our country as Title 42 ends this week. The ending of Title 42 marks the latest effort by the Biden Administration to dismantle every effective border security measure enacted by the previous administration, which had reduced illegal border crossings to the lowest levels in decades before skyrocketing under President Biden.
“If President Biden had not eliminated all of those policies, we would not be having the catastrophe we have today,” said Governor Abbott. “The border has been open under the Biden Administration, which is enticing people to come here illegally.”
“Until there are consequences for someone trying to enter this country illegally, [migrants] are going to continue to come,” said Border Czar Banks, highlighting the situation he has observed as part of his border security duties. “This is absolutely devastating the state and communities in Texas. We cannot continue to sit back and allow the federal government to let thousands and thousands of people into Texas and the rest of the United States.”
Governor Abbott spoke with Fox News Sunday this week about the Biden Administration’s complete refusal to enforce federal immigration laws that has created a national security crisis along America’s southern border. Noting the stark change of direction President Biden took on the nation’s border security, Governor Abbott discussed how the previously effective policies—including Remain in Mexico, Title 42, ending catch-and-release, and building a border wall—had sent a message to the entire world that the border was closed.
“Only when President Biden came into office and eliminated all those policies and laid down a welcome mat to the entire world that we suddenly have this chaos,” said Governor Abbott. “President Biden is sending 1,500 soldiers to the border to do paperwork. That is not going to secure the border. We need not 1,500 soldiers; we need 15,000 or 150,000 to secure the border because of the open border policies of the Biden Administration. This is a day late and tens of thousands of soldier too few.”
On Wednesday, Governor Abbott joined Fox News’ Jesse Watters to discuss the effective deterrence measures Operation Lone Star and the new Texas Tactical Border Force are employing to stem the influx of illegal immigrants entering Texas. Barriers such as razor wire have been installed at locations along the border identified as hotspots for illegal crossings.
“Last December, there was a long line of migrants outside of El Paso trying to get in,” said Governor Abbott. “We set up a massive razor wire wall that’s now 18 miles long. Overnight, the migrants stopped flowing at that location into El Paso. We’ve seen this work, and we’re going to repeat it as often as possible up and down the border.”
Ahead of Title 42 ending yesterday, Governor Abbott deployed the state’s new Texas Tactical Border Force to fill in the dangerous gaps created by President Biden’s ongoing open border policies. The Texas Tactical Border Force immediately began efforts to intercept and repel illegal crossings at hotspots along the Texas-Mexico border.
To provide much-needed relief to overrun Texas border communities, Governor Abbott has bused more than 17,000 migrants to sanctuary cities Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez and National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd joined Fox News this week to provide an update on Texas’ enhanced border security efforts as Title 42 ends. Despite President Biden’s ongoing attempts to undermine America’s immigration laws by abolishing every effective border security policy, Texas is working harder than ever to proactively protect Texans against the surge of illegal border crossings.
“We will continue to take action and address any threats that we see along the border,” said Lt. Olivarez. “We have to also focus on the criminal activity that will be taking place because of Title 42 ending. There will be an increase in human smuggling, drug smuggling, and gotaways because every federal resource is now going to be pulled from the frontlines. Now, we’re going to have to step in to fill that void.”
DPS Lt. Olivarez highlighted to Fox News the critical role DPS and the Texas National Guard play in containing the chaos created by President Biden’s open border policies. Operation Lone Star partners have been working around the clock to prepare for the end of Title 42, which as the Biden Administration estimates will encourage up to 13,000 migrants to cross the border illegally each day.
“We’re facing pressure [ahead of Title 42’s end], but we’ve been facing pressure for the past two years since this crisis first started,” said Lt. Olivarez. “This is happening because the federal government took away every single policy and tool that was working. We’re always looking for ways to expand operations. With Title 42 about to be lifted [Thursday night], we are here at ground zero.”
Following Governor Abbott’s deployment this week of the new Texas Tactical Border Force, specially trained Texas National Guard soldiers arrived at hotspots along the border to repel and turnback migrants attempting to enter Texas illegally.
“We’re increasing the size of our position by around six miles of 3-2-1 strand concertina wire,” said Major Sean Storrud, commander, Task Force West, El Paso. “These engineers are building over half-a-mile of 3-2-1 concertina wire barrier on a daily basis. Our goal is to cut off access to the United States from the Mexico side of the border. We have seen the effects where we have substantially reduced the number of migrants crossing into El Paso.”
Texas National Guard Deploys Hundreds Of Additional Troops To Border Region
In response to the increasing number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the border ahead of the Biden Administration’s decision to end Title 42, on Tuesday the Texas National Guard deployed hundreds of additional soldiers and airmen to hotspots along the Texas-Mexico border. Governor Abbott this week ordered the deployment of additional soldiers to El Paso, who arrived via four C-130s.
Texas National Guard engineers in El Paso have been constructing miles of razor wire barriers to stem the influx of illegal immigrants into Texas communities.
DPS Lt. Olivarez joined Fox Business on Wednesday to discuss Governor Abbott’s deployment of the new Texas Tactical Border Force to curb mass migration before Title 42 ends. While the Biden Administration is sending 1,500 troops to the southern border for civilian and administrative work, the Governor this week deployed a specialized tactical unit of trained Texas National Guard soldiers to repel mass migration and respond to this Biden-made crisis.
“The federal government is allowing the influx of mass migration these past two years,” said Lt. Olivarez. “They’ve had two years to put a plan into place, but they have not done so. They want to create amnesty for the large groups of illegal immigrants, which is not going to stem the flow across the border.”
Earlier this week, DPS Lt. Olivarez provided an update to Fox News about the critical situation developing along the border as Title 42 ends, with large groups of migrants waiting to pour across the border into America. The new Texas Tactical Border Force began working with Operation Lone Star partners and law enforcement officials this week to prevent a surge in criminal activity that is also anticipated following the policy’s ending.
“Over the past two years, the number [of illegal border crossings] have fluctuated between 7,000-8,000 a day, but just in the past few days, we’ve hit well over 10,000 encounters in a single day,” said Lt. Olivarez. “It’s not just large groups of people coming across. We cannot lose focus on what’s happening behind the scenes as well. People are trying to avoid capture, and drugs are coming across. The Mexican drug cartels are looking forward to the end of Title 42.”
Texas National Guard Helps DPS Apprehend Illegal Immigrants On Private Land
Texas National Guard soldiers assisted DPS in the tracking and apprehension of illegal immigrants trespassing on private property. The illegal immigrants set off motion sensor cameras, which alerted DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers.
The Operation Lone Star partners coordinate on border security missions, which includes troopers deploying drone teams to effectively locate illegal immigrants and sharing those coordinates with troopers and soldiers to catch and apprehend migrants crossing illegally.
DPS seized 38 lbs. of methamphetamine after a traffic stop on US-90 in Uvalde County last week. A trooper stopped an SUV, and several illegal immigrants bailed out and ran toward the brush. Two were apprehended with the assistance of Border Patrol, and authorities found their backpacks were filled with methamphetamine. The driver from Houston was arrested and faces criminal charges for human smuggling and engaging in organized crime.
DPS Trooper Disrupts Human Smuggling Attempt With Five Illegal Immigrants
A DPS trooper disrupted a human smuggling attempt in Val Verde County this week. A female driver from Ukraine and male passenger from Houston were arrested and face criminal charges for human smuggling after troopers found five illegal immigrants from Honduras inside the vehicle. The couple was attempting to smuggle them to San Antonio in exchange for $1,500 a person.