While outnumbered Border Patrol agents were forced to scramble to address the thousands of Haitian migrants camped under the Del Rio International Bridge, the State of Texas imarshaled significant resources to secure its southern border.
On September 21, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that his administration would increase efforts in Operation Lone Star, a statewide initiative to slow the flow of illegal immigration and drug trafficking occurring at the Texas-Mexico border. In March, Gov. Abbott launched the enforcement sweep to curb the chaos from President Biden’s open-border mandates. Operation Lone Star was expanded in an effort to prevent the thousands of Haitian migrants in Del Rio from traveling further into the state.
Before the operational update, Gov. Abbott directed state troopers to establish a perimeter of vehicles and personnel along the Rio Grande to prevent unlawful entries. The directive successfully blocked and deterred migrants, most of whom are Haitian nationals, from trespassing into the Unites States. In addition, the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) reinforcements helped Border Patrol from being completely overwhelmed, as agents have been stretched thin along the border, and are instead processing and transporting migrants.
On top of the additional law enforcement personnel, the Texas Republican signed HB 9, an appropriations bill that allocates $1.8 million to increase border security efforts in his state, which includes sending additional National Guardsmen to assist border agents and DPS officers.
There’s no doubt the Lone Star State’s efforts to secure the border have stifled some of the mounting mayhem, but this crisis needs more federal action. While the Biden administration has chartered aircraft to deport the Caribbean migrants, more than 10,000 Haitians have been released into the United States. The mixed signals from the administration have certainly exacerbated efforts to secure the border.
In fact, more than 20,000 additional Haitian migrants in Colombia are expected to travel to the United States. President Biden’s warning of deportation means little considering the exceptions from repatriation are incentive enough for foreign nationals to traverse to the southern border. The president must enact sound policies that will deter these large groups, mostly comprised of economic migrants, from making their way to the border. Texas’ determination to help secure the border has been an asset. Still, unless the federal government does its job and enforces our immigration laws, the waves of incoming migration may overcome any help the Lone Star State can provide.