Governor Abbot’s border ploy

Deployment of Texas state forces to the Mexican border has, even by public statements of the state, resulted in very little. “Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star to arrest Immigrants at the Texas border Is actually helping some asylum-seekers stay In the country” (here). With the estimated cost of personnel deployment at $2 billion, it is hard to see the merit in the arrest of only some 10,000 persons, virtually all for minor infractions of trespass, and the apparently referral of tens of thousands of persons to what may be ayslum applications.

In March, 2021 Texas governor Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star, an initiative to deploy public safety personnel to the Mexican border

On June 1, 2021, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration along Texas’ southern border. “The Governor is authorizing the use of all necessary and available state and local resources to protect landowners in these counties from trespassers and the damage they cause to private property. ‘President Biden’s open-border policies have paved the way for dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers, and deadly drugs like fentanyl to pour into our communities,’ said Governor Abbott. Meanwhile, landowners along the border are seeing their property damaged and vandalized.”

Because states cannot enforce immigration laws, Texas authorities are left to arresting persons for innocently trespassing on private property and handing the vast majority of persons over to the Feds, leading to asylum applications.

In October 2021, one news media outlet reported 7,000 arrests, another 32,000 arrests. The grounds of arrests were usually trespassing on private property without intent or damage to the property – not serious criminal acts such as smuggling or trafficking.

“At the end of the day, my office is not enforcing immigration laws. They’re being charged with trespass,” the Val Verde County attorney said. “What I can tell you is this, as I’ve considered every aspect in those cases we have dismissed, I’m pretty confident those individuals didn’t break anybody’s fence, didn’t cause destruction, didn’t linger, didn’t harass anybody in their home. They’re simply crossing what to them looks like open rural land.” (from here.)

A February 2 article said that the Department of Public Safety said that it made 10,400 criminal arrests, including 2,572 arrests for criminal trespassing, and turned some 100,000 persons over to the CBP (Customs and Border Protection). I can’t find information as to how many so turned over applied for asylum, nor those convicted. (also here.)

The National Guard deployment is expected to cost $2 billion, with about 6,500 troops plus Dept of Public Safety personnel at the border.

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