Governor Greg Abbott today held a roundtable on border security in Weslaco as part of the one-year anniversary of Operation Lone Star. The Governor was joined by top officials from state agencies, law enforcement, and military, as well as local stakeholders for a discussion on the ways Texas is taking action to secure the border and keep Texans safe.
“A year ago, Texas faced an unprecedented crisis at our border created by President Biden’s open border policies—but Texas immediately stepped up and took decisive action to stem the tide of people, drugs, and weapons flooding our state,” said Governor Abbott. “Our efforts to secure the border through Operation Lone Star would not be possible without our local partners as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers on the ground who work tirelessly on the frontlines to make our border and the entire state safer. We will continue to do whatever it takes to secure the border and keep communities safe in the wake of President Biden’s prolonged inaction.”
During the roundtable, the Governor and state leaders outlined the actions taken by the state to secure the border during the first year of Operation Lone Star. Local law enforcement and stakeholders provided an update on their own efforts to keep their communities safe.
Operation Lone Star marked its one-year anniversary on March 4, 2022; this multi-agency operation has led to more than 211,800 migrant apprehensions, along with more than 12,100 charges for criminal offenses—including more than 9,600 felony charges. DPS agents have arrested sex offenders, weapons traffickers, previously convicted and deported criminal immigrants, drug dealers, and other wanted criminals. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized over 288 million lethal doses throughout the state.
The following individuals attended the Governor’s roundtable:
Ken Paxton, Attorney General
Nim Kidd, TDEM Chief
Steve McCraw, DPS Director
Tracy Norris, Adjutant General of Texas
Monie Ulis, Deputy Adjutant General for Army
Dwight Mathis, DPS Deputy Director
Victor Escalon, DPS Regional Director – RGV
Susan Kibbe, South Texans’ Property Rights Association
Brandon Judd, National Border Patrol Council President
Paul Perez, National Border Patrol Council President – RGV
Raymundo Del Bosque, Zapata County Sheriff
Urbino Martinez, Brooks County Sheriff
Jose Salazar, Willacy County Sheriff
Governor Abbott’s actions to secure the border include:
- Signing laws that provide $3 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Arresting and jailing illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
- Allocated resources that include recently acquired 1,700 steel panels to building the border wall in Texas
- Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
- Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico and Title 42 policies in Texas
Read more on additional actions taken by the Governor to secure the border through Operation Lone Star.