Operation Lone Star passes three-year mark as Texas officers apprehend over 500,000

Law enforcement has apprehended more than 503,800 illegal foreign nationals and made more than 40,400 criminal arrests.
Migrants at southern border, El Paso, Texas, Dec. 22, 2022

Operation Lone Star passed its three-year mark this week, as Texas law enforcement officers apprehended a benchmark of more than 500,000 illegal border crossers.

“Americans are outraged by [President] Joe Biden’s complete failure to secure the border,” Gov. Greg Abbott said on Wednesday. “Three years ago today, I launched Operation Lone Star to defend Texans – and Americans – from his disastrous open border policies.”

“Texas continues to deter and repel” illegal border crossers and interdict cartel activity, he said. “We will not back down.”

In response to the president’s state of the union address Thursday night, Abbott said it “was nothing short of a dog and pony show to convince the American people that his Administration is keeping America safe and secure. Until President Biden steps up and does his job as Commander-in-Chief to secure the border, Texas will hold the line and use every tool and strategy to keep our country safe.”

Since launching OLS, state and local law enforcement officers have apprehended more than 503,800 illegal foreign nationals and made more than 40,400 criminal arrests, with more than 36,100 felony charges reported.

This is after Texas has seen the greatest number of illegal border crossers in state history. More than 1.9 million foreign nationals reportedly illegally entered Texas in fiscal 2023, the greatest number in state history, The Center Square reported. Texas’ burden accounts for 48.75% of the nearly 4 million who reported illegally entered nationwide in fiscal 2023.

To respond to the unprecedented crisis, the Texas legislature allocated more than $11.6 billion to fund OLS over a four-year period, the most in state history.

It totals more than multiple state fiscal year budgets and more than what the Trump administration allocated to fund federal border security efforts in Texas.

The majority of the OLS budget funds Texas Military Department and Texas Department of Public Safety operations. Roughly $3.1 billion has been allocated to expand border barriers and infrastructure, including continuing to build Texas' own border wall. Texas began building its own border wall under Abbott, the first state to do so.

Roughly $200 million of the OLS budget is allocated to fund transporting over 100,000 illegal foreign nationals to six self-described sanctuary cities. After they were unlawfully released into Texas by the Biden administration, Abbott argues, the state provided them with voluntary transportation to a city of their choice. The majority chose to receive Texas-taxpayer funded transportation to New York City, followed by Chicago, Denver, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

Since April 2022, Texas has transported more than 12,500 people to Washington, D.C.; since August 2022, more than 39,100 to New York City and more than 32,200 to Chicago; since November 2022, more than 3,400 to Philadelphia. Since May 2023, more than 16,600 were transported to Denver; since June 2023, more than 1,500 to Los Angeles, according to the latest data from the governor’s office.

OLS officers have also seized more than 469 million lethal doses of fentanyl, more than enough to kill everyone in the United States and Canada.

“Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border,” Abbott said. “Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden’s open border policies.”