U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that encounters with illegal aliens in September were the highest ever recorded since the federal government began tracking the data in 2000.  

In addition to the September total of 269,735 encounters, September closed out the 2023 federal fiscal year. The closing of FY 2023 saw another record-breaking tally of 2,475,669 encounters with illegal aliens along the southwest border.

The previous record was from FY 2022 when CBP encountered 2,378,944 illegal border crossers. 

In response to the border crisis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began Operation Lone Star, Texas’ border security effort that is costing taxpayers billions of dollars as it attempts to curb the ongoing crisis. 

Texas is currently in its third legislative special session. Abbott has requested lawmakers construct additional legislation to address border security needs, including:

    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by increasing the penalties for criminal conduct involving the smuggling of persons or the operation of a stash house.
    • Legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by providing more funding for the construction, operation, and maintenance of border barrier infrastructure.
    • Legislation to do more to reduce illegal immigration by creating criminal offenses for illegal entry into this state from a foreign nation and illegal reentry or presence following denial of admission, exclusion, deportation, or removal; authorizing all licensed peace officers to remove illegal immigrants from Texas; and providing indemnification of public officials, employees, or contractors in connection with the foregoing.

Senate Bill 4 by State Sen. Pete Flores (R–Pleasanton) will increase penalties for human smuggling and operating a stash house. SB 4 has already passed the Texas Senate. It has been approved by the House State Affairs Committee and simply needs to be placed on the calendar for a floor vote by the full House. 

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 11 by State Sen. Brian Birdwell (R–Granbury) to create a criminal penalty for improper entry from a foreign nation. However, the House is pushing its own version of the bill—House Bill 4 by State Rep. David Spiller (R-Jacksboro). It has passed from the State Affairs Committee and is awaiting placement on the calendar for a floor vote. 

“Texas will hold the line in President Biden’s absence,” posted Abbott on X. 

The Texas House Calendars Committee is meeting on Tuesday to determine when the measures will receive a vote on the House floor.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.