FederalImmigration & BorderState Officials Have Arrested More Than 260,000 Illegal Immigrants via Operation Lone Star

While some have called on Abbott to declare illegal immigration an “invasion,” the governor fears violating federal law.
June 24, 2022
Texas law enforcement has apprehended more than a quarter-million illegal aliens via Operation Lone Star, including thousands of criminal arrests and weapons seizures, according to a recent update from the office of Gov. Greg Abbott.

During the operation, there have been 264,000 “migrant apprehensions” and over 16,000 arrests of accused criminal aliens. There have been almost 14,000 felony charges filed.

The governor’s office also reported $41.5 million in currency seizures and more than 5,000 confiscations of weapons.

Abbott held a news conference at Anzalduas Park in Mission last week to address caravans approaching the southern border.

Fox News reported that the Mexican government disbursed a caravan of more than 10,000 individuals, most of whom are from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, after offering thousands of them temporary Mexican visas. Many of them were still en route to the U.S. after receiving the documentation.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported the highest number of enforcement encounters with illegal aliens in May than in any other month in the federal government’s history.

Texas National Guard Maj. Gen. Ronald W. Burkett II commented on some of the infrastructural measures the state has taken.

“The National Guard practices mass-migration responses both with and without DPS and law enforcement to demonstrate we have those capabilities at any time, day or night,” Burkett said. “Engineers are also responsible for establishing additional barriers to deter illegal migrant events. Nearly 40 miles of standard fencing have been erected, as well as 18 miles of concertina wire along the border.”

Though Abbott has been criticized by those who say Operation Lone Star goes too far, he has also been derided by critics who say he has done too little to deter illegal crossings.

In an interview with The Texan, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21) repeated his call for declaring illegal immigration an invasion and said that Abbott is responsible for handling the risk that goes with it.

“It’s a risk we need to take. We’re talking about law enforcement — which law enforcement would be open and amenable to it?” Roy said. “Talk to sheriffs in South Texas who are saying, ‘You know what? I’ll do it.’ Have we talked to people who might volunteer? Maybe there’s veterans, maybe there’s retired police officers.”

The governor has contended that state officials enforcing immigration law could be ineffective and result in federal prosecutions. Roy argued that it is up to the state to find ways to protect those individuals from “litigation.”


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."