HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has no plans to slow down Operation Lone Star, which launched two years ago this month to help enhance border security.
He reiterated his commitment during a speech in Houston Saturday night.
Gov. Abbott was the keynote speaker at a dinner hosted by the union that represents Border Patrol agents. They’re federal employees, many of whom support what Abbott is doing on the state level.
Saturday's event happened at the Westin Oaks inside The Galleria.
The National Border Patrol Council represents some 18,000 agents and other personnel.
Abbott told the crowd that Texas has spent $4.5 billion on Operation Lone Star, which utilizes Texas Department of Public Safety and National Guard personnel to ramp up security along the Texas-Mexico border.
He plans to spend another $4.5 billion in the current budget.
Gov. Abbott said efforts are helping to curb the smuggling of drugs and people, among other issues.
"Y’all know exactly what’s going on – the cartels will flood the zone, you’ll get overwhelmed in apprehending people – and that’s when the cartels are able to move across the goods and the people that are high-valued assets. That’s where DPS has to step in and fill the gap, and that’s where they go in and make arrests," the governor said at the event
Gov. Abbott said Operation Lone Star has resulted in more than 25,000 arrests - including of people wanted for murder.
He once again called on the current administration to empower federal agents and hire even more.
Many have been very critical of Operation Lone Star, citing issues with, among things, due process and the toll on DPS and National Guard personnel.
Debate that will no doubt continue.