Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Weslaco where he provided an update on Texas’ response to the humanitarian crisis at the southern border through Operation Lone Star. Prior to the press conference, the Governor received a briefing from the Texas Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement on the ongoing crisis at the border.
Since the launch of Operation Lone Star on March 4th, DPS has made 598 criminal arrests and made over 16,000 referrals of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This averaged out to 21 criminal arrests per day and more than 571 referrals per day to border patrol. The operation has also led to the seizure of 14 pounds of cocaine, 23 fire arms, and millions of dollars in currency, and the arrests of nine gang members involved in the movement of this contraband.
Governor Abbott also highlighted the rise in violence at the border, detailing stories of abuse, assault, rape, and attempted murder of migrants at the hands of smugglers and cartel members. The Governor recognized DPS Trooper Curtis Woodard, who helped rescue a mother and her six-month old baby who were thrown from a raft into the river by cartel members. The Governor noted that the Biden Administration’s continued refusal to secure the border has perpetuated the sharp rise in illegal crossings and urged President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to take immediate action to end the humanitarian crisis.
“Operation Lone Star is delivering results to keep our communities safe, but it is also exposing the continued failures of the Biden Administration to secure the border,” said Governor Abbott. “I want to thank the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the National Guard, and U.S. Border Patrol for putting their lives on the line every day to secure the border, arrest dangerous criminals, and protect the victims of trafficking and smuggling. It is past time for the federal government to step up and secure the border, and I am urging the Biden Administration to take action now to save lives and get this crisis under control.”
The Governor was joined for the press conference and briefing by DPS Director Colonel Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Tracy Norris, members of the National Border Patrol Council, and local law enforcement.