Governor’s Controversial Policy Seems to Be Working

( – Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s policies enacted to deal with the southern border crisis appear to have produced results. Abbott commented in a recent interview that Texas is witnessing a profound impact on its border and fewer illegal crossings than other states on the southern border, despite Texas having over two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico boundary. In March 2021, the governor launched Operation Lone Star and sent National Guard soldiers and state troopers to patrol the border. Texas houses five of the nine Border Patrol sectors lining the southern border.

The federal Justice Department sued the state of Texas in January 2024 over its immigration law introduced in late 2023, which allows migrants to be arrested for illegally crossing the border. Senate Bill 4 also grants judges the authority to send migrants out of the country.

Texas cannot take credit for all of the work in reducing crossings, however. In January, the numbers were down after Mexico started clamping down on migrants by forcing them from freight carriages they were using to cross the border. Mexican immigration officers have also been busing migrants down to the southern border and sending them back to their home countries.

During the first half of the 2024 fiscal year, Texas accounted for roughly 43% of migrant encounters. In the 2023 fiscal year, the state accounted for approximately 59% of migrant encounters on the southwestern border. The impact of Abbott’s policies first became apparent in November, when approximately 104,000 migrant encounters were recorded by non-Texas sectors compared to roughly 87,000 in the five Texas sectors.

Gubernatorial spokesman Andrew Mahaleris noted in a statement that most of the southern U.S. border is in Texas and that because of the state’s efforts to control its border, more migrants are traveling west to cross into the country in other states. Mahaleris added that until President Joe Biden “does his job” in securing the border, Texas will use all strategies and tools at its disposal to respond to the crisis Biden made.

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