WESLACO, Texas (KVEO/KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott will visit the Texas border city of Weslaco on Thursday and speak out about the ongoing surge of migrants and state-led efforts to crack down on that and on Mexican cartels smuggling in drugs.
Texas launched Operation Lone Star on March 6, saying that it was sending state police and National Guard forces to “high threat areas” along the border “to deny Mexican cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.”
According to Abbott’s office, the governor will be joined Thursday by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Tracy Norris, members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), and local law enforcement.
Abbott’s decision to send a surge of state resources to the border came after a spat with President Joe Biden over both the border and Abbott’s decision to end the Texas mask mandate. Biden called the decision to not require masks “Neanderthal thinking.”
Abbott responded by blaming the president for the current immigration crisis.
“Texas supports legal immigration but will not be an accomplice to the open border policies that cause, rather than prevent, a humanitarian crisis in our state and endanger the lives of Texans,” Abbott said at the time.
Operation Lone Star included Texas DPS with the Texas National Guard and they deployed air, ground, Marine and tactical border security assets.
Migrants infected with COVID-19 crossing into Texas
According to Border Report’s Sandra Sanchez, 108 migrants released in Brownsville in February were carrying the coronavirus. U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said that was putting the South Texas border community, the volunteers who help them, and the border agents at risk.
For more, read KXAN reporter John Engel’s report about the fact and fiction of asylum seekers with COVID-19 entering Texas through Mexico.