Texas Department of Public Safety troopers have recently shifted their operational policy, per the orders of Gov. Greg Abbott, leading officers on the ground to block and turn illegal border crossers away rather than guide them to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies Todd Bensman has been documenting the strategy change as Texas’ “hold the line” operation (using razor wire to secure the river bank in Eagle Pass) leads illegal border crossers to turn back to Mexico—at least until they can find U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“Thanks to the actions of Texas Border Czar Mike Banks, we have finally seen Operation Lone Star, in Maverick County near Eagle Pass in particular, take unprecedented action by locking previously open gates in border barriers, placing concertina wire along the banks of the Rio Grande, and sending personnel to intercept illegal crossings and demand that illegal aliens self-deport,” Chris Russo, president of Texans for Strong Borders, told Texas Scorecard. “This is a great start toward repelling the invasion at our border.”

However, Russo says it’s much too early to declare victory.

Elsewhere along the Rio Grande, illegal aliens are still crossing where there are no barriers along the river and even turning themselves into DPS and TMD officials, who then turn them over to Border Patrol for processing. Even in Maverick County, once illegal aliens make it past the line set up by Operation Lone Star officials, they are either arrested and charged with criminal trespassing or simply turned over to Border Patrol (especially if they are family units). These encouraging actions we’ve seen near Eagle Pass are not uniform policy throughout the 1,250 miles of border with Mexico.

Nevertheless, the actions by DPS are viewed as a step forward in securing the state.

Ken Cuccinelli, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Greg Abbott for his failure to deter and repel illegal aliens. Now, Cuccinelli praised the recent actions of DPS.

In addition to the razor wire, Texas recently placed a barrier of buoys in the Rio Grande River at Eagle Pass, which has raised issues with both the Mexican and U.S. governments.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is now asking Mexican-Americans to vote against Abbott as he makes strides toward stopping the invasion.

Russo said that “Texas must take the next step by beginning to remove apprehended illegal aliens directly into Mexico under Governor Abbott’s invasion declaration.”

This is the next step as laid out in a step-by-step plan to use the powers present in the invasion clauses of the U.S. and Texas constitutions and secure the state from the ongoing invasion at the Texas-Mexico border.

Texans for Strong Borders is also asking Abbott to “immediately call a special session to address what the Legislature failed to accomplish in the regular session: creating a dedicated Texas border force, eliminating taxpayer subsidies for illegal aliens, and mandating E-Verify to ensure they cannot obtain employment.”

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.