There is no sign of a slowdown in the crisis at the U.S. border’s southern border. The Biden administration clearly decided to not enforce immigration laws. Gov. Greg Abbott is, in some ways, taking the law into his own hands.
In March, Abbot started Operation Lone Star. The group is made up of Texas Rangers, National Guard Soldiers, and state troopers. They are there to help Border Patrol officers arrest illegal immigrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Texas National Guard Soldiers identify & apprehend illegal immigrants on land and in water crossing into Texas from Mexico.
Through Operation Lone Star, the State of Texas is working night and day to combat Biden’s border crisis & secure our border. pic.twitter.com/3wa6bgDsQQ
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) September 29, 2021
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Texas Taxpayers Doing Federal Government’s Job
A surge of predominantly Haitian migrants flooded into Del Rio border town, creating a huge migrant camp with approximately 15,000 people. Gov. Abbott provided an additional $100million to support Operation Lone Star.
Abbott said, during a Del Rio press conference,
“We are arresting and jailing anybody who comes across the border illegally and trespasses on private property or on public lands. It’s not the Biden administration’s catch and release policy. It’s the arrest and jail policy sending a message to these folks and anybody thinking about coming here, you may end up with handcuffs on your hands and go straight to jail.”
— Hayden Sparks (@HaydenJSparks) September 30, 2021
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Texas Legislature’s new initiative to provide funding for more border security funding includes $100 million in grant funding. The Texas tax payers will pay more than $1.8 million in total.
Local governments have also received grant money to help with a variety of law enforcement requirements, including the arrest and prosecution of illegal immigrants and other criminals.
Since then, the program has been extended to cover construction of border barriers and fences. The state also stated that it will raise money for a border wall.
Operation Lone Star is a new way to say “Don’t mess Texas!” https://t.co/msKA7TW2rY
— The Western Journal (@WestJournalism) October 4, 2021
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Refusal from the Left
Operation Lone Star faces opposition from right-leaning immigration activists groups. Some argue that Operation Lone Star is not constitutional because it delegated immigration to the federal government and not the states. Some critics claim that it promotes racial profiling.
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said, “Whenever you ask untrained law enforcement officers to engage in immigration enforcement efforts, they are going to revert to racial profiling. That’s exactly what an initiative like this invites.”
The program’s legal problems extend to the courtroom. Last week, criminal trespassing charges against two illegal immigrants who were arrested as part of the program were dismissed by a Texas district court judge on grounds that prosecutors were, “unable to present probable cause.” However, both men remained in custody and immigration activists were anxious they might still be deported.
The same judge has also ordered the release of 243 more illegal immigrants who were arrested under Operation Lone Star to be released due to “no-cost bonds.”
However, border security proponents say Operation Lone Star may act as a model for other governors who are tired of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to enforce border laws.
Jessica Vaughn from the Center for Immigration Studies stated that Operation Lone Star only apprehends people who want to cross Border Patrol, and not asylum seekers.
She added, “It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. We could end up with a blueprint from the courts on exactly what can be done by states to address illegal immigration.”
Operation Lone Star: Texas Calls for Volunteers to Hold the Line at Southern Border https://t.co/8qaC4GkAv8
— mark8989 (@mark89894) September 26, 2021
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Abbott’s Response To Biden Administration
During a recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday,” Gov. Abbott had some blunt assessments of the Biden administration’s job of securing the southern border.
Abbott said to host Chris Wallace that, “Secretary Mayorkas and, if I can be candid, even President Biden, they are in dereliction of duty.”
“The Biden administration has abandoned any pretense of securing the sovereignty of either Texas or the United States by having these open border policies. People in South Texas are furious at the Biden administration’s neglecting, abandoning them. The Biden administration cares far more for the people who are not in this country than he does for the people, American citizens who live in this country.”
Abbott went on to discuss the two Border Patrol agents on horseback who were recently accused by some media outlets and the president of “whipping” Haitian immigrants. Biden spoke of the ongoing investigation into the incident, and vowed that the agents would “pay” for their actions.
The agents had been using long reins for control of the horses. This was clarified later. Abbott offered to employ the Border Patrol agents in question, if the Border Patrol fires them.