Governor Greg Abbott on Friday received a briefing from Operation Lone Star agency leaders and toured the increased assets along the border ahead of President Biden’s reckless decision to end Title 42 expulsions next week on December 21.
Texas continues utilizing innovative strategies along the southern border to respond to President Biden’s ongoing border crisis, including building a border wall, deploying gun boats to patrol the Rio Grande, positioning razor-wire at low-water crossings and high-traffic areas, installing container blockades to stem the flow of illegal crossings, and more.
“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that our law enforcement officers and Texas National Guard soldiers adopt innovative solutions needed to counteract President Biden’s reckless decision to end Title 42 expulsions next week,” said Governor Abbott. “While the federal government abandons its constitutional duty to defend America and secure the border, the State of Texas continues taking unprecedented action to deescalate and decrease the influx of dangerous criminals, illegal weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl into our country. Stepping up to overcome extraordinary challenges is embedded in the spirit of Texas, and I have no doubt that the exceptional men and women serving Texans—and Americans—through Operation Lone Star will employ the best possible strategies to navigate the uncharted waters of President Biden’s escalating border crisis.”
The Governor was joined for the briefing by Texas Military Department (TMD) Adjutant General Thomas Suelzer, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, TMD Major General Win Burkett, and other Operation Lone Star leadership and local officials. During the briefing, the Governor and law enforcement officials discussed how the State of Texas will continue enhancing border security efforts and strategies to address the drastic spike of an estimated 18,000 illegal crossings per day expected next week following the end of Title 42.
The Governor also visited Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers stationed along the border for Operation Lone Star and thanked them for their service to the people Texas to secure the border and keep our communities safe.
Governor Abbott has taken action to secure the border in the wake of the federal government’s inaction, including:
- Securing $4 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of Texas National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Taking aggressive action to aid border communities, including busing thousands of migrants to Washington, D.C., New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia
- Designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations to keep Texans safe amid the growing national fentanyl crisis
- Arresting and jailing criminals trespassing or committing other state crimes along the southern border
- Issuing an executive order authorizing the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border at ports of entry
- Allocating resources to acquire 1,700 unused steel panels to build 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
- Signing memoranda of understanding between the State of Texas and the States of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to enhance border security measures in their states that will prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to Texas
Activating the Joint Border Security Operations Center (JBSOC) and directing the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Department, and Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate Texas’ response to secure the border