Immigration & BorderIssuesTexas Sends National Guard, Department of Public Safety to Combat Illegal Immigration

The state has dubbed the efforts “Operation Lone Star.”
March 8, 2021
The Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) are on their way to the state’s southern border to thwart Mexican drug cartels, human traffickers, and drug smugglers, according to a press release Gov. Greg Abbott issued on Saturday.

Abbott said the state will “surge the resources and law enforcement personnel needed to confront this crisis.”

“The crisis at our southern border continues to escalate because of Biden Administration policies that refuse to secure the border and invite illegal immigration,” Abbott said. “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.”

The governor said the reinforcements, including air, ground, marine, and tactical assistance, will deploy to “high risk areas.”

DPS Press Secretary Ericka Miller wrote in an email to The Texan that the department is adapting to security threats in real-time.

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“The Texas Department of Public Safety is continuously monitoring events at the border and their impact on public safety,” Miller remarked. “While we do not discuss operational specifics, DPS will continue to adjust our operations as needed to address potential threats.” 

Also in opposition to illegal immigration, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced an amendment to block illegal aliens from receiving stimulus checks under the economic relief package that the U.S. Senate passed on Saturday. Cruz’s amendment failed in a vote of 49 to 50.

Cruz said in a statement last week to Breitbart News that Congress should “stand for the American people.”

“Not only does this COVID bill fail to address the real needs of the American people who are suffering, but it hands out billions in taxpayer dollars to illegal immigrants,” Cruz asserted, adding that reopening schools and small businesses ought to be priorities.

In addition to labeling the economic relief bill as a “pork-laden spending bonanza,” the senator’s office on Sunday explained that sometimes illegal aliens remain in the U.S. beyond the timeframe authorized by their visas. Due to their possession of Social Security numbers, they are eligible for stimulus checks.

Texas state Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (D-Richardson) argued that illegal aliens should be eligible for stimulus checks because many of them have served as frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Excluding immigrants from the next COVID relief package blatantly disregards their role this past year as essential workers on the frontlines of the fight against this virus,” the state representative tweeted emphatically. “[COVID] relief that isn’t INCLUSIVE doesn’t WORK!”

President Biden has proposed a number of immigration reforms, including a plan to make virtually all illegal aliens who arrived here before New Year’s Day eligible for an “earned path to citizenship,” as well as doing away with the term “alien” altogether and replacing it with “noncitizen” in federal statutes.

Biden campaigned on softening the nation’s immigration policy, but thanks to slim majorities in Congress and mixed opinions within his own party, the president may have a difficult time scoring a touchdown on an immigration overhaul the same way former President Obama did with health insurance reform.


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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."