Democrat Reps Call for Investigation into Texas Border Security Operation

by RANDY CLARK 30 Oct 2021

A group of 26 Democrat representatives called on the federal government to launch an investigation into Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” border enforcement operation. In a letter, led by San Antonio Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX), to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and United States Attorney General Merrick Garland, the members of Congress requested an immediate investigation into what they believe is Abbott’s effort to create a “separate state immigration policy”.

Twenty-five other Democrat congressional representatives signed a letter on Friday urging an investigation into Abbott’s Operation Lone Star. The signators included six Texas representatives. The Texas Representatives signing the letter include Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Veronica Escobar of El Paso, Colin Alred of Dallas, Sylvia Garcia of Houston, Filemon Vela of Brownsville, and Lloyd Doggett of Austin. Notably, the signers did not include Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar from Laredo, Texas.

The letter implies Abbott’s Operation negatively impacts the judicial system along the border and asserts:

Governor Abbott’s use of military and police presence on the border and his arrests of migrants have overwhelmed local justice systems, leaving legal and logistical problems and prolonged delays. Texas counties do not have enough employees nor the technology to manage hundreds of cases. One county in particular, Kinney County, has had to manage over 80 percent of the cases, and many of the migrants there had been without attorneys for weeks. Over the past month, the state has passed multiple state statute deadlines to file charges, and jails must release defendants without those charges filed, which has also not occurred in all cases. As a result, almost 1,000 migrants to sit in prison for weeks and sometimes over a month.

The representatives allege the operation has led to the wrongful separation of migrant families and is likely a violation of the Supremacy Clause in that federal law supersedes state law. Operation Lone Star was initiated in March and involves the deployment of Texas Highway Patrol troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers to the border regions in Texas.

In June, Abbott cleared a Texas prison to accommodate the prosecution of migrants for criminal trespass when arrested by state authorities on private property. In August, Abbott granted Texas Army National Guard soldiers arrest authority to assist in that endeavor.

Initially, more than 1,000 Highway Patrol troopers and National Guard members were deployed to the border to support Operation Lone Star. Those numbers increased as the Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio, Texas, developed in September.

During the Haitian migrant crisis in Del Rio, Abbott surged state resources to the area to augment the Border Patrol and block further entries into a makeshift migrant encampment holding nearly 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants.

Recently, Abbott, under the auspices of Operation Lone Star, deployed additional Texas Army National Guard soldiers to blockade illegal entry crossings in several Texas border cities. The move is related to the imminent arrival of a migrant caravan currently traveling through Mexico headed to the United States.

As reported by Breitbart Texas, state and local law enforcement authorities increasingly find themselves left to perform border enforcement activities once exclusively conducted by the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol has reduced or eliminated in some areas its routine patrols along the border as the agency struggles to process and care for thousands of migrants arrested daily.

Operation Lone Star Letter from 26 Democrat Congressmen