Is Texas Really Winning The Border Fight?

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – Governor Greg Abbott of Texas, a member of the Republican Party, recently highlighted on social media the success of Operation Lone Star, a strategy he initiated to manage the influx of undocumented migrants at the state’s southern border. Introduced in 2021, Operation Lone Star aims to thwart the efforts of Mexican cartels and other criminal networks in trafficking drugs and humans into Texas, through a collaborative effort between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department.

Abbott pointed to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which show a notable reduction in the number of undocumented migrants entering Texas. Specifically, he referred to a report by the Media Research Center that indicated a 28% decline in these numbers for Texas from October to February in the fiscal year 2024. Contrastingly, during the same period, California and Arizona experienced increases of 35% and 52% respectively.

In his social media post, Abbott emphasized the effectiveness of Operation Lone Star, attributing the decrease in illegal border crossings in Texas to the implementation of physical barriers such as border walls and razor wire, as well as the active involvement of the National Guard and the Department of Public Safety in apprehensions.

CBP data corroborates the decline in illegal crossings at various Texas border regions, with the most significant decreases observed in the Big Bend and El Paso sectors. Meanwhile, neighboring states like Arizona and California saw substantial increases in migrant encounters.

The impact of Texas’ border security measures has drawn commentary from political figures, such as Arizona’s Kari Lake, who observed a resultant surge in crossings in other states. This discourse occurs amidst ongoing legal debates over Texas’ authority to enforce immigration laws, a matter recently scrutinized by the U.S. appeals court and the Supreme Court, particularly concerning the state’s use of razor wire along the border.

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