Governor Abbott, DPS, Texas National Guard marks one year anniversary of Operation Lone Star | Oficina del Gobernador de Texas

March 4, 2022 | Austin, TX | Press release

Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard today celebrate the one year anniversary of Operation Lone Star (OLS)⁠ – a comprehensive and unprecedented mission to deal with the crisis caused by Biden in Texas. southern border. Officially launched on March 4, 2021, OLS integrates DPS assets including Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, Special Agents, Texas Rangers, Rotary and Fixed Wing Aircraft and Tactical Boat Teams, as well as the Texas National Guard and local law enforcement to secure the border.

Since the launch of the OLS, the efforts of multiple agencies have led to more than 208,000 migrant arrests, as well as more than 11,800 charges of criminal offenses, including more than 9,300 felony charges. Members of notorious gangs like the Texas Chicano Brotherhood, Bloods, Mexican Mafia, MS-13 and others have been taken off the streets. The DPS has arrested sex offenders, arms dealers, previously convicted and deported criminal immigrants, drug dealers, and other wanted criminals. In the fight against fentanyl, the DPS has seized more than 269 million lethal doses statewide.

Governor Abbott posted a video to commemorate the accomplishments of the mission, Texas law enforcement and soldiers.

“We launched Operation Lone Star to do the work that Washington wouldn’t do,” Governor Abbott said. “In the weeks since taking office, President Biden has turned our southern border into a porous mess where criminal aliens have roamed the Rio Grande River with no one stopping them. I refused to stand my ground. crusaders and let our state be overrun by criminals and deadly drugs like fentanyl.. Texans have never backed down from a challenge, and we won’t start now, as our efforts stem the tide of illegal drugs and criminals who invade Texas. Thank you to the many men and women who protect our southern border, including DPS soldiers, Texas National Guardsmen, Texas Sheriffs, and all law enforcement officers who serve and protect us. every day.”

“I thank Governor Abbott for his tremendous leadership in protecting the people of Texas by working to secure our southern border,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “A year into this mission, the DPS has arrested thousands of dangerous criminals, apprehended tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, and seized dangerous contraband. Let’s be very clear – an unsecured international border with Mexico is the most significant threat to the state of Texas.

“Texas National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are proud to stand with the DPS and other agencies to protect the people and property of Texas,” said Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Texas Adjutant General. . “We continue to build fences and gates, turn around and apprehend migrants, and do the work we were sent here to do – we are Texans serving Texas.”

Since the initial launch of Operation Lone Star in March 2021, the Governor, DPS, and Texas National Guard have increased overall mission efforts.

On March 17, 2021, Governor Abbott expanded the OLS to include efforts to crack down on human trafficking and illegal border crossings. State agencies have been tasked with working with local law enforcement, communities and private landowners to prevent, detect and interdict transnational criminal activity flowing between ports of entry.

On May 31, 2021, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration for counties along the southern Texas border to free up additional resources to help tackle the epicenter of the crisis. The Governor’s disaster declaration also directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission not to provide a state license for the federal government’s shelter program for unaccompanied alien children.

On June 10, 2021, Governor Abbott held a Border Security Summit in Del Rio with leaders from the DPS, Texas National Guard, and Texas Emergency Management Division. The summit brought together Texas sheriffs, police chiefs, county judges, mayors, district attorneys and landowners to hear from state officials on steps the State of Texas is taking to secure the southern border and deal with the ongoing humanitarian crisis. The governor invoked the emergency management assistance contract with the state of Arizona at the summit. As part of this interstate pact, Governor Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey continue to ask other states to send law enforcement officials to help make arrests.

The Governor also announced that the DPS, with the assistance of the Texas National Guard, would begin arresting trespassers on private property. In July, Governor Abbott opened the first such correctional facility in the state of Val Verde County. At the facility, those arrested for committing border-related crimes in the surrounding area are booked and tried, then transferred to the TDCJ unit in Briscoe or Segovia. Governor Abbott launched a second jail reservation facility in Jim Hogg County in February 2022.

In June 2021, Governor Abbott announced plans to build a border wall in Texas. Just six months later, the governor launched construction of the Texas border wall in Rio Grande City. The governor also ordered the Texas National Guard to begin construction of a temporary border barrier. To date, the Texas National Guard has constructed more than eight miles of fencing and has signed agreements for another 100 miles. Additionally, the State of Texas recently acquired 1,700 unused 32-foot-tall panels that will be used for the border wall. These signs were originally intended for President Trump’s border wall, but President Biden halted construction once he took office.

In July 2021, Governor Abbott issued an executive order restricting the ground transportation of migrants who pose a risk of carrying COVID-19 in Texas communities.

In September 2021, Governor Abbott announced the availability of $100 million in funding for local governments through the OLS Grant Program to enhance interagency border security operations supporting OLS, including facilitating directed actions to deter and interdict criminal activity and detain non-citizens arrested for state crimes related to the border crisis.

That same month, Governor Abbott signed into law House Bill 9, which provides $1.8 billion in additional funding for border security over the next two years, leading to nearly $3 billion in funding allocated to border security in Texas.

Operation Lone Star was crucial in resolving the Haitian migrant crisis that occurred in Del Rio last September. A massive wave of migrants began gathering at the Del Rio International Bridge with around 7,000 arrivals in a single day. In the two days that followed, that number nearly doubled to about 13,500 migrants, mostly from Haiti. Governor Abbott ordered the DPS and the Texas National Guard to mobilize additional resources, including approximately 1,000 DPS personnel in the area and some 650 DPS vehicles were put in place to form a protective barrier in steel. The push included approximately 400 additional Texas National Guard troops and 40 Humvees, to help deter criminal activity, flank the area, and keep the region secure.

Additional actions to secure the border by Governor Abbott include:
• Sign legislation to make it easier to prosecute people smugglers who bring people to Texas
• Signing of 15 laws against human trafficking in Texas
• Signature of a law strengthening the penalties for the manufacture and distribution of fentanyl
• Take legal action to enforce Stay in Mexico and Title 42 policies in Texas

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