AUSTIN, Texas – 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.
Texas has bused:
- Over 12,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022
- Over 23,100 migrants to New York City since August 2022
- Over 18,400 migrants to Chicago since August 2022
- Over 3,200 migrants to Philadelphia since November 2022
- Over 6,100 migrants to Denver since May 18
- Over 1,100 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.
RECENT HIGHLIGHTS FROM OPERATION LONE STAR:
Governor Abbott this week joined Fox News to highlight the dangers President Biden’s open border policies have created for Americans, including allowing terrorists to enter our nation undetected. Earlier this month, a Jordanian national was arrested in Houston after obtaining firearms and plotting to attack Jewish people in Texas.
“Under Joe Biden, there has been a record number of people on the terrorist watchlist who have crossed the border, and those are the ones who have been apprehended,” said Governor Abbott. “There are probably even far more who have not been apprehended, who evaded apprehension, who are roaming around the country.”
In response to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis, the State of Texas continues to use every available tool and strategy to keep Texans safe. This week, new sections of the state’s historic border wall went up in Cameron and Maverick counties.
DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers secured Fronton Island in the Rio Grande River to gain operational control and prevent cross-border criminal activity from Mexican cartels.
The island has long been known as a hotspot for cartel smuggling operations involving narcotics, weapons, money, and high-value individuals. The densely wooded island provided concealment for transnational criminal activity and has been a problem for decades according to law enforcement familiar with the area.
“Our engineer teams installed over 1.4 miles of wire along the Texas-Mexico border,” said Sgt. Jake Jordan, Joint Task Force Lone Star Special Response Team platoon sergeant. “The project was executed in a timely and safe manner and provides not only the wire blocking obstacle, but allows Guard and law enforcement freedom of maneuver around the entire island.”
Earlier this week, DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez joined NBC San Antonio to discuss the necessity for Texas to secure islands in the Rio Grande River—including Fronton Island—and protect Texans from President Biden’s ongoing border crisis. Lt. Olivarez explained that Texas asserting full control of the islands allows Operation Lone Star to better combat dangerous Mexican cartel activity along the border and prevent illegal crossings.
“We’ve encountered armed gunmen and cartel members who have come across on Fronton, and we’ve encountered ammunition,” said Lt. Olivarez. “Once the island is completely cleared, we will man that area 24/7. We’re also trying to locate other pieces of land in Eagle Pass along the border to try to help deny or prevent some of that activity that’s taking place right now.”
A DPS trooper discovered numerous illegal immigrants, including two young children, inside an SUV during a traffic stop in Kinney County. Some illegal immigrants were trying to conceal themselves under blankets as the trooper approached the vehicle. The children, ages 9 and 7, were discovered in the cargo area, and three bailed out and ran as the trooper talked to the driver.
The driver was arrested and charged with five counts of smuggling of persons. The five illegal immigrants, including the children, were referred to Border Patrol.
DPS aircraft captured four people hiding in the brush along a road in Kinney County load up into a passing SUV. A DPS trooper stopped the vehicle and discovered the driver was smuggling three illegal immigrants hidden underneath blankets in the back.
The driver and a passenger were arrested and charged with smuggling of persons. The three illegal immigrants were referred to Border Patrol.
A California driver led DPS troopers on a vehicle pursuit in Kinney County. Before stopping, multiple illegal immigrants bailed out and ran toward the brush. The driver also attempted to flee on foot but was stopped and arrested.
The driver is charged with evading arrest and smuggling of persons.
Texas National Guard soldiers recently assisted law enforcement partners with the arrest of six illegal immigrants near Laredo. The illegal immigrants had been hiding in thick vegetation along the Rio Grande River, but soldiers used tracking skills and high-tech gear like drone cameras to help locate and arrest the illegal immigrants.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star in March 2021, soldiers have assisted in the interdiction, apprehension, and referral of almost 240,000 illegal immigrants, referred more than 470,000 surrenders to law enforcement partners, and turned back 75,000 illegal border crossers.