WESLACO, Texas (KVEO) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced he will visit the city of Weslaco on Thursday to speak about Operation Lone Star.
According to Abbott’s office, the governor will be joined by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Colonel Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Tracy Norris, members of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), and local law enforcement.
Gov. Abbott launched Operation Lone Star at the beginning of the month, in an effort to stop Mexican cartels from smuggling drugs and people into Texas by surging state police and National Guard forces to the border.
The decision comes after a February meeting with Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Colonel Steve McCraw about security at the border and what a release said were COVID-19 health concerns. According to the Feb. 9 release, Abbott and McCraw discussed “a recent surge of immigrants at Texas’ southern border and noted that this influx is related to the Biden Administration’s reinstatement of the ‘catch and release’ policy.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials told McAllen mayor Jim Darling last month that family units — undocumented migrants traveling with children who cross into South Texas — were now being paroled into the United States as they awaited their asylum proceedings.
This is what occurred during previous border security apprehensions known as “catch and release,” when migrants were allowed to remain in the United States during their immigration proceedings however many years that may take.
The launched operation will include Texas DPS with the Texas National Guard and will deploy air, ground, marine and tactical border security assets.
Gov. Abbott’s statement also comes days after a back-and-forth with President Biden about coronavirus restrictions and the Texas border.