EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Attorney General Ken Paxton was joined by Republican Attorneys General from across the country to discuss border security on Friday.
The group focused on the work of Operation Lone Star (OLS) and legal efforts the Attorneys General are doing to fight Biden administration immigration policies.
The program – started under President Obama and stopped by President Trump – allows parents who are legally in the country, such as those seeking asylum, to apply for refugee status for children still in certain Central American countries.
Paxton said that CAM was being “used by this administration to bring people from certain countries in and then allow them to bring their families here. None of this has been authorized by Congress and it just increased the incentive for people to come across our border illegally and violate federal law.”
According to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services website, the parent must be in the country legally to qualify.
Paxton blamed CAM and other policies from the Biden Administration for the increase in immigration cases the country is seeing.
“This is not like a hurricane, this is something that has been planned, we knew the results would come when the Biden administration decided that the rule of law, that federal law doesn’t apply anymore as it relates to immigration issues,” he said.
Paxton also defended the legality of Operation Lone Star, which is the state operation to arrest migrants for trespassing on state and private land. States don’t have the authority to arrest people who illegally crossed the international border between U.S. and Mexico, but Paxton argued that they can arrest them for breaking state laws once they are across.
“They’re violating state laws, we’re starting to have more forces down here that can arrest those people,” he said. “And of course, we’re getting sued left and right by the federal government over doing things like this but the reality is if they’re not going to protect us, we’re going to protect our citizens.”
A focus of the visit by the group of Attorneys General was the national impact of drug and human smuggling over the Texas-Mexico border.
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said that Texas’ actions were needed to stop the spread of cartel activity.
“In little old Roosevelt County Montana, we had the FBI show up and tell me that I had three known Sinaloa Cartel associates in my county jail that we had just arrested in our little bitty home town,” he told reporters after the group had been asked about seeing increased cartel activity in their states.