Gov. Greg Abbott wants to deploy gunboats at border to stop illegal immigration

Gov. Greg Abbott’s “catch-and-jail” initiative under Operation Lone Star got its first courtroom win when a Kinney County jury convicted a Honduran national in the first jury trial for trespassing under the initiative.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s “catch-and-jail” initiative under Operation Lone Star got its first courtroom win when a Kinney County jury convicted a Honduran national in the first jury trial for trespassing under the initiative.

Joel Martinez, MBI / Associated Press

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has invoked the invasion clauses of both the U.S. and Texas constitutions to continue the ongoing fight against illegal immigration at the U.S. and Mexico border. Specifically, Abbott reiterated that Mexican cartels are designated as terrorist organizations and is bolstering law enforcement efforts at the border including the deployment of gunboats. 

The itemized list tweeted by Abbott on Tuesday, November 15, also spotlights a number of efforts by the state that include the deployment of the National Guard to the border, DPS’s continued border efforts to arrest and either return migrants or detain suspected criminals, continue building the border wall, to enter into a compact with other border states and foreign powers to secure and enhance the border, and provide resources to border counties “to increase their efforts to respond to the border invasion.”

On Monday, November 14, Abbott sent a letter outlining the above-listed directives to county judges, noting that the state has spent “more than $4 billion of Texas taxpayer dollars toward these and other efforts to secure the border and enhance public safety.” The governor continued, saying that Congress “should reimburse” Texas for the billions in spending on border security and that lawmakers should amend the law “to ensure that our Troopers and Guardsmen are not exposed to federal criminal prosecution for protecting Texas against illegal entry between the ports of entry.”

In September, Abbott issued an executive order designating drug cartels from Mexico as official terrorist organizations, noting the national fentanyl crisis as the primary driver. Abbott also requested for federal terrorist classifications for the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel specifically, as well as including “other cartels producing and distributing deadly fentanyl.” The governor also asked law enforcement agencies in Texas to identify local gangs that have known ties with the cartels. 

U.S. authorities stopped migrants more than 230,000 times on the U.S.-Mexico border in October, up 1.4% from the prior month and the highest figure recorded since May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. 

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