Gov. Abbott discusses border security efforts with Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, County Judges

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FILE – In this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum. The Biden administration proposed Wednesday, Aug. 18, to change the way asylum claims are handled, aiming to cut a huge backlog of cases from the Southwest border that has resulted in people waiting years to find out if they will be allowed to stay in the U.S. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

Courtesy of Governor Greg Abbott

AUSTIN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Governor Greg Abbott held a call with members of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition and County Judges from border communities discussing the State’s ongoing efforts to secure the border and stop the influx of migrants, according to a press release from Governor Abbott.

Governor Greg Abbott, Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, and County Judges were joined by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Texas  National Guard Adjutant General Tracy R. Norris, Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood, and Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Executive Director Kim Vickers on the call Saturday, August 21.

During the call, Abbott and state leaders provided an update on Operation Lone Star, a program used to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas. Officials as well as thanked the sheriffs and county judges for their ongoing partnership to address the border crisis. 

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up border security funding this week.

The Governor urged border sheriffs and county judges to make their voices heard to the committee and members on the urgent need for this additional funding to secure the border.

Abbott named border security funding as a priority for the first and second 2021 Special Sessions.

Gov. Abbott encouraged legislators to swiftly act on this item, especially since a quorum has been established, in order to keep communities safe and help secure the border. 

“I am grateful for the border sheriffs and county judges who are partnering with the State of Texas to crack down on crimes along the border and keep our communities safe… We have made great progress to address this crisis, but more funding is needed to bolster our border security efforts which is why I am urging border sheriffs and county judges to testify in front of the House Appropriations Committee next week on the need for additional funding. Due to the Biden Administration’s inaction on the border crisis, our partnership with these local leaders is more important than ever as we step up to mitigate the rise in illegal border crossings and prevent the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and people into our state.” 

Governor Greg Abbott

According to the press release, since the launch of Operation Lone Star, there have been over 4,3000 individuals arrested. OLS has led to the confiscation of drugs and illegal firearms — including over 700 pounds of cocaine, 127 pounds of fentanyl, over 8,700 pounds of cannabis, and over 260 firearms to date. In July 2021, more than 212,000 people attempted to illegally cross Texas’ southern border — the largest number since 2000. 

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