More than 503,800 illegal aliens have been apprehended in Texas since Gov. Greg Abbott kicked off Operation Lone Star in March of 2021.

The multi-agency effort, led by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Military Department, has also resulted in over 40,400 criminal arrests, 36,100 felony charges, and 469 million lethal doses of fentanyl seized.

Abbott commemorated the operation’s third anniversary in his Thursday response to President Joe Biden’s annual State of the Union address.

“Yesterday marked the three-year anniversary since I launched Operation Lone Star to defend our state—and our nation—from the historic influx of illegal immigration, criminals, and deadly drugs like fentanyl pouring across our southern border,” Abbott stated.

“Until President Biden steps up and does his job as Commander-in-Chief to secure the border, Texas will hold the line and use every tool and strategy to keep our country safe,” he added.

The Friday release further noted that over 12,500 illegal aliens had been transported to Washington, D.C., since April 2022; 39,100 to New York City since August 2022; 32,200 to Chicago since August 2022; 3,400 to Philadelphia since November 2022; 16,600 to Denver since May 2023; and 1,500 to Los Angeles since June 2023.

In addition to arrests and busing operations, OLS has also overseen the placement of various types of border barriers, including marine buoys in the Rio Grande and concertina wire fencing along the banks of the river.

As part of OLS, Texas authorities took control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass from the U.S. Border Patrol earlier this year, pledging to increase the law enforcement presence and reduce illegal border crossings.

The U.S. Supreme Court then gave the Biden administration the green light to begin to cut down concertina wire placed by Texas authorities in the location. However, federal government agencies have not yet removed any since the decision was made.

A member of the Texas National Guard told Scorecard during a January visit that border crossings had gone down substantially in the corridor since they took control alongside DPS.

Numbers released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the month of January appeared to confirm that observation, with illegal crossings dropping by half from all-time highs from December 2023 to January 2024.

Notably, the largest decrease was in the Del Rio sector which includes Eagle Pass.

In late February, Texas Scorecard again went to Eagle Pass and confirmed that no concertina wire had been cut by federal authorities. Instead, new wire had been put up, as well as massive shipping container barriers.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.