TEXAS – Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the National Guard in the state expanded its Operation Lone Star mission in El Paso in response to the unprecedented number of illegal border crossings in the area.
Abbott noted that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the National Guard continue to work together to secure the border; stop the smuggling of drugs, weapons and people into the state; and prevent, detect and interdict transnational criminal behavior between ports of entry.
Through a statement, the governor noted that Operation Lone Star continues to fill “dangerous gaps left by the Biden Administration’s refusal” to secure the border.
Abbott also reiterated that he hand-delivered a letter to President Joe Biden during his visit to El Paso as part of his first trip to the border, asking him to secure the border by enforcing federal immigration laws.
In the letter, the Governor provided five specific actions the President can consider to “secure the border and restore order in an out-of-control immigration crisis.”
“This chaos is the direct result of your failure to enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress,” the letter states. “Your open borders policies have emboldened the cartels, who grow rich trafficking deadly fentanyl and even human beings. Texans are paying an especially high price for your failure, sometimes with their own lives, as local leaders of your own party will tell you if they get the chance. On behalf of all Americans, I implore you: Secure our border by enforcing the immigration laws of Congress.”
The National Guard in Texas expanded its Operation Lone Star mission to El Paso, including providing four C-130J Hercules aircraft to expedite the movement of personnel and vehicles to the far west region, as well as tactical troop movements throughout Texas.
“I am very impressed with the OLS personnel, as well as the Task Force West Soldiers,” stated Maj. Gen. Ronald “Win” Burkett, Operation Lone Star commander-in-chief. “More than 400 troops and 40 vehicles were repositioned to El Paso within 72 hours.”
The El Paso operations have become an ongoing piece of Governor Abbott’s efforts to secure the Texas-Mexico border. The region will have more than 600 troops and 100 military vehicles to support law enforcement partners in blocking and deterring illegal crossings and interdicting transnational criminal activity.
According to the Texas government, since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has resulted in more than 342,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions throughout the border region and more than 23,000 criminal arrests, with more than 21,000 felony charges. In the fight against fentanyl, DPS has seized more than 356 million lethal doses of the drug.
Texas has also bused more than 9,100 migrants to the U.S. capital since April, more than 5,200 migrants to New York City since August 5, more than 1,500 migrants to Chicago since August 31, and more than 890 migrants to Philadelphia since November 15.