Bethany Blankley, The Center Square
According to a former U.S Border Patrol officer, the number of illegal immigrants arrested at Texas’ southern border has decreased somewhat over the last year. This is because the Biden administration failed to enforce U.S immigration laws.
Rodney Scott, former Border Patrol Chief, said that Texas has been acting as the front line defense along the southern border. But, U.S. Customs officials and Border Patrol agents desire to complete their job, but they are not being allowed by the Biden administration.
Texas witnessed an increase in immigration of more than 2,000 persons per day within five months after President Joe Biden took office. This was despite the fact that the border wall is still not complete. Greg Abbott This was last year. This has continued to increase over time.
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Texas DPS received more than 30500 referrals from U.S Border Patrol during the initial two months Operation Lone Star. This is a network now composed of 1,600 state troopers who work together with local and federal law enforcement. reported an 800% increase in the amount of fentanyl confiscated compared to the previous year.
According to Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, the state troopers had arrested more than 10,000 illegal immigrants since March last year, which was when the operation started. That’s in addition to the apprehensions made by local sheriffs offices and Border Patrol agents. According to him, Troopers also confiscated more than $5 million worth of cash and $17million in methamphetamine in the last nine months. They also found enough fentanyl for over 260 million deaths.
“Every one of these statistics would have been in St. Louis, Chicago, or somewhere else without [criminal illegal aliens] ever being vetted,” Scott said. What that means, he says, is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials may release people into the U.S. “but at least we know who they are.”
At a Texas Public Policy Foundation forum Wednesday, Scott weighed in on the effectiveness of Operation Lone Star, saying that Texas was defending the U.S. in response to an increased crime wave as a result of the Biden administration’s open border policies.
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In his 30-year career with Border Patrol, before becoming chief, Scott served as chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector in California, assistant chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Anti-Terrorism, and director of the Incident Management and Operations Coordination Division at CBP Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
He emphasized that what’s going on at the border isn’t about immigration, but about public safety.
“Just think about your home for a minute, because border security is exactly the same as your home,” he told a packed audience in Austin. “We expect people to go to the front door, announce themselves, we decide who enters. If they come in any other way, there’s a response, and in Texas it’s a little more aggressive than in other states,” he said, referring to Texans who own guns and know how to use them for self-defense.
He stated that in addition to interdicting criminals and guarding borders, the CBP also has the job of finding those illegally entering the country.
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“We need to know who is here,” Scott said. Texas DPS and the Texas National Guard have been “stepping up into the gap that the Biden administration created,” he said, which “enables us to at least know who” those coming in illegally are, because Border Patrol agents process them.
“They’re being finger printed and photographed. If they’re criminals, Texas can step in and take action,” Scott said. “If they’re on the terrorist watch list, the FBI’s going to respond and take action. If there’s any action that can be taken legally, it’s going to be taken.
“This is a huge responsibility and it’s very expensive and Texas has really taken a huge hit,” he added. “Even public safety in other areas because DPS troopers are pulled from other areas of the state to go to the border.”
Texas’s legislature has committed $3 billion to border security initiatives from its state general fund. The state is also building a border wall, the first time it’s ever done so in Texas history. Abbott claimed that $3 billion could be spent on other projects in Texas. But the state is spending it on border security even though it shouldn’t have to because keeping Texans and Americans in other states safe is a priority.
“Were it not for Operation Lone Star, the people DPS is catching would be gottaways,” those who evade law enforcement as they make their way north, Scott said.
“They would be people wandering around with whatever’s in their backpack,” he said. “Without DPS, there’d be a gap in border security with the cartels driving trucks with who knows what through. So it’s not just the statistics but DPS is really providing for the whole country a level of safety and security that the federal government cannot do right now.”
He stated that Border Patrol agents are eager to perform their duties but have been held back from the administration. They now need to process large numbers of illegal immigrants, instead of patrolling the frontier in the field and interdicting cartel activity.
“During the Del Rio fiasco with the Haitians under the bridge there was 130 miles of border without a single border patrol agent on it for well over a week. What came through that gap?” he asked. “If Texas DPS wasn’t there, we’d never know.”
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Additionally, DPS’ presence at the border, he said, provides a visual of an “iron curtain,” a message the world needed to hear and see, he said. Because “the world got an invitation to come to the United States on January 20 last year, and they came in record numbers.” Texas DPS holding the line was just as important a message that the world needed to hear, he added.
“Operation Lone Star is making a huge impact to keep this country safe in a way the federal government has chosen not to,” he said.
The operation involves state troopers working with the Texas National Guard to deploy air, ground, marine and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to prevent and or mitigate Mexican cartels’ human and drug smuggling operations in Texas.
“Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans,” Abbott said when he launched the operation. “We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”
The Center Square permission granted this syndicated version.