Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the implementation of “Operation Lone Star” to deploy National Guard troops and a wide variety of tactical border assets to deny the entry of Mexican cartels and smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into the state through the southern border.
The initiation of the operation comes amid the Biden administration’s failure to contain the growing border crisis, which Republicans argue was provoked by President Joe Biden’s promise to offer amnesty to illegal border crossers.
“Today Texas launched Operation Lone Star to respond to the border crisis,” wrote Abbott on Twitter. “It deploys Nat'l Guard + DPS Officers + air, ground, marine, & tactical border security assets to deny Mexican Cartels & smugglers the ability to move drugs & people into Texas.”
“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” said Abbott in a statement to a local news station, KFOX-TV.
“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. We will surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis,” he said to KXXV-TV.
Texas Department of Public Safety’s Col. Steve McCraw met with the governor in February to discuss the state’s response to the worsening border crisis.
The governor’s operation has received support from Texas Democrats like Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who told KGNS-TV that he fears the border city of Laredo will soon be flooded by illegal immigrants.
“In the last 7 days in the valley they have stopped 10,000 individuals and 2,500 individuals in the last two days and many are being released,” said Cuellar.
“Remember what happened under the problem we had last time?” said Cuellar. “What did they do? [they said] ‘oh, we have too many people in the south, so let us send them to Laredo.’ They process them in [Laredo] and they send them by bus stations, and then release them in Laredo. My thing is, if the numbers keep going up they will release them in Laredo like they did in the past.”
Cuellar expressed his fears that illegal border crossers will bring the coronavirus with them, echoing concerns voiced by Gov. Abbott.