Texas Launches Operation to Combat Drug, People Smuggling at Southern Border

Posted 38 days ago


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched a program on March 6 that will deploy state National Guard troops and personnel from other agencies to respond to the burgeoning crisis at the southern border.

Abbott says Operation Lone Star, in collaboration with the state’s Department of Public Safety, will deploy air, ground, marine, and tactical border security assets to prevent Mexican criminal organizations from smuggling drugs and people into 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 in a statement to media outlets on March 6.

“We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”

The announcement comes as the number of illegal crossings at the southern border continues its steady rise since October of last year. The number of encounters at the southwest border between October 2020 and January 2021 was 296,259, an increase from 164,932 during the year-earlier period, according to data from the U. S. Custom and Border Patrol (CBP), representing a 79.6 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Reuters has reported, citing anonymous sources, that the number of illegal immigrants apprehended by U. S. border agents spiked even further for the month of February, at nearly 100,000 detained. CBP has yet to release its February data.

Since taking office, Biden has reversed several Trump-era border security measures that sought to stem the flow of illegal immigration at the southern border and increase America’s public security.

A sharp increase in unaccompanied minors arriving at the border in recent weeks has prompted the Biden administration to open more overflow shelters to handle the influx. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on March 1 that instead of “expelling young children” to Mexico while processing their asylum claims, as was done under the Trump administration, DHS is working to release minors to relatives or sponsors in the United States if the minors are from Guat... (Read more)