Austin/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 15, 2024
Operation Lone Star Leads to 74% Drop in Illegal Crossings, Over 44K Criminal Arrests in Texas, Governor Abbott ReportsSource: Office of the Texas Governor

Governor Greg Abbott, along with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard, reports that Operation Lone Star has significantly impacted illegal border crossings and criminal activities in Texas. According to a press release from the governor's office, the initiative has led to a 74% decrease in illegal crossings into the state.

The same source details the apprehension of over 513,700 individuals deemed illegal immigrants and more than 44,000 criminal arrests, comprising over 38,600 felony charges. These efforts highlight Texas' stance against the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people. The release also emphasizes the hefty quantity of fentanyl seized — enough to pose a lethal risk to the combined populations of the United States and Mexico. In terms of human transport, Texas has relocated a number of migrants to various key cities across the United States since the operation's inception.

Operation Lone Star is described as a response to fill what is portrayed as a vacuum left by the federal government's approach to border security. The text criticizes the Biden Administration for its policies, which, according to the Governor's office, allow for illegal activity to potentially infiltrate into Texan communities and beyond. Abbott’s office claims that were it not for Operation Lone Star, the apprehended or arrested individuals, along with each ounce of drugs seized, could have dispersed throughout Texas and other U.S. states.

The movement of migrants into cities such as Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles marks a significant part of the operation's strategy. Texas has transported over 12,500 migrants to Washington, D.C. since April 2022, and over 45,700 migrants to New York City since August 2022. Similarly, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, and Los Angeles have received large contingents of migrants, respectively. These figures reflect Texas’ active involvement in managing migrant flows in conjunction with its law enforcement objectives.

Overall, Operation Lone Star's objective to mitigate unlawful border crossings and combat transnational crime has manifested in tangible statistics shared by the Texas government. Governor Abbott's administration continues to advocate this program as essential to preserving the security and safety of Texas residents in the absence of more stringent federal border policies.