Texas’ Costly ‘Operation Lone Star’ Leaves Alleged Illegal Immigrants Trapped in Jail with No Due Process

Texas governor. Greg Abbott’s cross-border control crusade overwhelms Texas court systems and leaves detainees in jail for weeks, or even months, without due process. It generally doesn’t result in any convictions.

Abbott started “Operation Lone Star”, in March. While border enforcement normally falls to the federal government, Abbott decided that Texas’s Department of Public Safety would be deployed to help “deny Mexican Cartels” and other drug smugglers access to Texas.

According to multiple media outlets, illegal aliens suspected of being at the border were instead arrested and held for misdemeanor crossing. And then…nothing, frequently. The Wall Street JournalReports indicate that 3 percent of 1,500 Operation Lone Star arrestees have been convicted. All guilty pleas were for misdemeanor theft.

Texas does not have the authority to deport any of these people, so the rest are either still detained in jail or being released back into the community—the very outcome Abbott insists he was trying to stop.

Abbott’s spokesperson said that the office of Abbott had informed The Wall Street JournalHis policy of jailing immigrant workers was an immediate response to President Joe Biden’s catch and release program, a phrase that is common among people who seek tough enforcement.

They are often in prerial detention for several months or weeks because they don’t have the ability to deport them. Normally, someone arrested in Texas on a nonviolent offense would be freed or released on bail in just a few days. It’s not what happens here.

September The Texas TribuneIt was reported that thousands of migrants are not even being accused or provided with legal representation. They must be arrested or released for any trespassing offense within 30 days. Abbott, a law-and–order kind of man, doesn’t seem inclined to follow the state’s rules.

Currently, the border county courts are overwhelmed. Texas MonthlyAccording to reports, Kinney County (3,659) has not had a jury trial for seven years. This is the place where many of these arrests took place. Kinney officials filed criminal charges against more than 1000 migrants they detained but aren’t sure how they will be able arrange trials.

Abbott’s campaign comes with substantial costs. To fund the program, Abbott took $250 million from the budget. This included the prison system. The state legislature also directed $3 billion to him for border enforcement. Kinney County officials estimate that prosecuting all of these illegal immigrants would cost them $5M. However, Operation Lone Star funding has only sent $3.19 Million their way. Texas Monthly

Take a look at their results, as per The Wall Street JournalYou can find this link:

About 70% of the 170 Operation Lone Star case cases that were resolved on Nov. 1, according to court records, were either dismissed, declined, or dropped. Final plea agreements were reached during videoconference arraignments. They were each sentenced for a period equal to or lesser than their time in prison.

The prosecutor in Val Verde County dropped two cases after police footage revealed that troopers had lured two people onto their property, so they could make arrests for trespassing.

This is Big-government conservatism at work. Many dollars are being given to employees of the government. The government is telling citizens that there is a huge crisis and it must be addressed. But to the extent that there is an actual crisis, this money is not, in fact, resolving it; it’s instead imprisoning people in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights—which, yes, do apply to people in the United States illegally.