TEXAS, USA — The Texas National Guard can now enforce Texas law at the border and arrest people in violation who have crossed it illegally. The Guard is also helping build border barriers and the border wall, according to a press release from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office,
The National Guard is working in partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety to “increase border security.” Abbott had previously ordered the Guard to assist DPS at the border with arrests in July.
“The Texas National Guard is playing an unprecedented role to secure the border because of the unprecedented refusal of the federal government to fulfill its obligations under federal law,” Abbott said.
The Texas House Appropriations Committee is set to discuss additional funding for border security and the deployment of more National Guard troops this week. Abbott put border security on the Texas Legislature’s agenda for the second special session:
“Legislation enhancing criminal laws or providing funding from unappropriated available revenues to support law-enforcement agencies, counties, and other strategies as part of Texas’ comprehensive border security plan.”
Abbott asked border sheriffs and county judges to “make their voices heard” at the hearing, according to the release.
DPS has made over 4,600 arrests at the border for charges including criminal mischief and trespass since the start of Operation Lone Star in March, according to the release.
Operation Lone Star was created to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas. Over 700 pounds of cocaine, 127 pounds of fentanyl, 8,500 pounds of cannabis and over 270 firearms have also been confiscated since its launch.
Abbott’s office said more than 212,000 people attempted to illegally cross the Texas's southern border in July, the most since 2000.
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