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Gov. Abbott celebrates success of Operation Lone Star, citing significant declines in illegal alien encounters
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Gov. Abbott celebrates success of Operation Lone Star, citing significant declines in illegal alien encounters

The Biden administration has worked hard to hinder the Lone Star State's efforts to fend off invading waves of foreign nationals. In recent weeks, the Democratic administration has fought in the courts to prevent Texas from enforcing Senate Bill 4, which makes illegal entry into Texas a misdemeanor offense and enables state law enforcement officials to send illegal aliens packing.

Fortunately, Texas has other arrows in its quiver — some of which appear to have been thinning the waves of migrants encountered at the border.

Early Wednesday morning, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott highlighted recent indications that "Operation Lone Star is working."

The governor cited a recent Media Research Center report indicating that the number of encounters of illegal aliens at the border dropped by 28% between October 2023 and last month — from 560,920 to 406,458.

The report was referencing U.S. Customs and Border Protection data, indicating that there were steep declines in four of the Lone Star State's five Border Patrol sectors between the last five months and the same period in fiscal year 2023. El Paso saw a 46.8% decline; Big Bend, a 65.1% decline; Laredo, a 38.1% decline; and the Rio Grande Valley, a 22.6% decline.

The Del Rio sector saw less significant year-over-year decline in encounters of 5.7%. However, that number is likely to improve since the state took control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, where the Biden administration previously failed to prevent multitudes of illegal aliens stealing into the country.

Texas has since installed razor wire, fencing, and shoreline barriers in the area, reducing the number of unlawful entries by 41.2% in January and by 38.5% as compared with the same months in the previous fiscal year.

Meanwhile, sectors in Democrat-run states saw massive spikes. For instance, the San Diego sector saw a 76.1% increase in encounters. Tucson, Arizona, saw a 167.2% spike in illegal alien encounters at its southern border.

Newsweek noted that Kari Lake, presently running in Arizona for the U.S. Senate, previously attributed the surge at Arizona's border to the success of Texas' border control efforts.

"Because Greg Abbott is now working to secure the border in Texas, we're seeing an influx of people pouring across our border even more so than we had in previous months," Lake said in January. "The Tucson sector is being overrun with people from 168 different countries."

Abbott is evidently pleased with this turn of events, at least as it pertains to the well-being of his state and its inhabitants.

"Illegal crossings are going down in TX while at the same time they are skyrocketing in CA & AZ," wrote Abbott. "It's b/c of the border wall, razor wire barriers, the National Guard & arrests by DPS."

Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021. Abbott said at the time, "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."

The governor's office indicated on the third anniversary of Operation Lone Star earlier this month that the multi-agency effort has resulted in over 503,000 illegal alien apprehensions; 40,400 criminal arrests; 36,100 felony charges; and the seizure of 469 million lethal doses of fentanyl.

While Texas cannot presently lawfully eject illegal aliens from the U.S., under Operation Lone Star, it has sent them packing to Democrat-run sanctuary cities around the country, including over 12,500 to Washington, D.C.; 39,100 to New York City; 32,200 to Chicago; 3,400 to Philadelphia; 16,600 to Denver; and 1,500 to Los Angeles.

Several hours after celebrating the apparent success of Texas' efforts to secure the border, Abbott announced that 200 soldiers in the Texas Tactical Border Force had been deployed to El Paso to "bolster Texas' ability to hold the line."

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