Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he would be deploying the Texas National Guard in order to stop the surge of migrants at the U.S southern border. He called it Operation Lone Star and said he would be prepared with a mass amount of equipment and personnel at the Border. He went on to emphasize how the Biden Administration has been AWOL at the border and “abandoned all pretense” of securing the nation and the state of Texas.
Gov. Abbott went on to state that he would deploy thousands of National Guards and Texas Department of Public Security officers to secure the border, as well as complete the wall that was started by former president Donald Trump. Construction had been canceled by President Joe Biden on his first day in office.
Abbott shared that he needed to be prepared for caravans, as the last time they had to form a human barricade to prevent people from coming in. He said they needed to identify the locations where other caravans could be coming from and use the resources they have to secure Del Rio.
Lieutenant Chris Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety has even warned migrants not to come to Texas, adding they will be apprehended and placed in jail. He said they are not going to “lay out the red carpet” like what the federal government is doing and that they are going to apprehend individuals and put them in jail.
The Biden Administration has remained silent since the Texas National Guard has been deployed, with federal agencies offering no additional help to the Lone Star state.
Since July, the National Guard members in Texas have arrested more than 32,000 people on state trespassing and human smuggling charges. According to the reports, most of those arrested have been non-citizens who illegally crossed the border onto private land. According to National Guard members at the border, they indicated that migrant and smuggler arrests will continue to rise in the coming months.
While the federal military is forbidden from enforcing civilian law without the approval of Congress, sending your own National Guard is an exception. Guard members are required to complete 40 hours of training on the Fourth Amendment and the use of force since they aren’t authorized to use weapons. The state is only currently arresting men while women, children, and families are being turned over to the Border Patrol.
“This is a state commander telling state Guard to enforce state laws. And when these people cross the border and set foot in Texas, they’re breaking state laws. And so the state Guard then can arrest for state crimes,” explained Lora Ries, a senior research fellow on homeland security at the Heritage Foundation.
Abbott has even cited Article IV, Section 7 of the Texas Constitution’s authority for the governor to call forth the military to execute state laws. Abbott’s use of the Texas National Guard has been successful as they have helped law enforcement officers arrest thousands of migrants and enforce all federal and state criminal laws, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking.
While nobody has ever used the Guard to this capacity, it’s clear that the governor and citizens of Texas want the border secure.