WESLACO, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday held a press conference in the Rio Grande Valley where he provided an update on Texas’ response to the surge of migrants at the southern border through Operation Lone Star.
Prior to the press conference in Weslaco, Abbott received a briefing from the Texas Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement on the influx of immigrants on the border community.
According to a news release from Abbott’s office, since Operation Lone Star was launched on March 4, DPS has made 598 criminal arrests and made over 16,000 referrals of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The operation has also led to the seizure of 14 pounds of cocaine, 23 firearms and millions of dollars in currency and the arrests of nine gang members involved in the movement of this contraband.
Abbott also talked about some violent incidents that law enforcement reported regarding abuse, assault, rape, and attempted murder of migrants at the hands of smugglers and cartel members.
The governor recognized DPS Trooper Curtis Woodard, who helped rescue a mother and her 6-month old baby who were thrown from a raft into the river by cartel members.
Abbott claims that the Biden Administration is refusing to secure the border, which he said has led to a sharp rise in illegal border crossings. He urged President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to take immediate action.
“Operation Lone Star is delivering results to keep our communities safe, but it is also exposing the continued failures of the Biden Administration to secure the border,” Abbott said. “I want to thank the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the National Guard, and U.S. Border Patrol for putting their lives on the line every day to secure the border, arrest dangerous criminals, and protect the victims of trafficking and smuggling. It is past time for the federal government to step up and secure the border, and I am urging the Biden Administration to take action now to save lives and get this crisis under control.”
Abbott was joined at the press conference and briefing by DPS Director Colonel Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Tracy Norris, members of the National Border Patrol Council and local law enforcement.