Washington, DC – A detailed joint investigation by ProPublica, The Texas Tribune, and The Marshall Project, highlights how Texas Governor Greg Abbott cooked the books in his Operation Lone Star. As thousands of state troopers and National Guard members are deployed at the Texas-Mexico border and are arresting migrants coming into the United States on state criminal trespassing charges, the investigation found that Gov. Abbott has been touting the success of his $3 billion effort by claiming arrests and crimes that were not connected to the operation.
Operation Lone Star costs taxpayers more than $2.5 million a week, and former law enforcement officials told ProPublica that the counts do not allow the state to accurately gauge what the effort is accomplishing since the tallies included 63 counties and work done with resources that were already in place.
Operation Lone Star is a cornerstone of Gov. Abbott’s gubernatorial campaign and he is lauded by Republicans as emblematic of their militaristic, no compromise approach to keeping immigrants out of the United States. When you closely examine the GOP’s messaging on the border, you find that the reality is that Republicans’ proposed “solutions” are wasteful and xenophobic. It is worth noting that the Republican National Senatorial Committee lists completion of the border wall – and naming it after Donald Trump – as a key plank of what Sen. Rick Scott, Chairman of the RNSC, calls his “plan to rescue America” agenda for the fall campaigns. This is just an additional reminder that the GOP’s “vision” when it comes to borders and immigration is a $15 billion border wall that can be cut through with a $15 dollar hand saw.
According to Mario Carrillo, Campaigns Manager for America’s Voice,
Greg Abbott’s shambolic Operation Lone Star is emblematic of the GOP’s approach on immigration – an ugly, wasteful, political distraction. Instead of solutions, they want to play politics, lie about open borders, foment fear of invasions and advance dangerous conspiracies that have already had violent consequences in Texas. We call on Gov. Abbott to end Operation Lone Star now. Republican arguments on borders and migration have a lot of holes in them, just like Trump’s border wall.