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Border security roundtable hosted by Gov. Abbott

It's part of the one-year anniversary of Operation Lone Star, which was launched to "combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas."

WESLACO, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott held a roundtable on border security on Thursday at the Department of Public Safety's headquarters, about 250 miles south of San Antonio. The event was part of the one-year anniversary of Operation Lone Star – which was launched to "combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas."

After the roundtable, a news conference was held to share more about the progress of the initiative. Gov. Abbott started off, talking about the dangers of fentanyl.

"People died in Austin, Texas, just a few days ago," Gov. Abbott said. "Because they didn't know it was laced with fentanyl... The people stepping up to do something about it are Texans."

Gov. Abbott also slammed President Joe Biden, accusing him of not caring about the fentanyl crisis in the U.S. He said over the past year alone there have been 103,000 deaths in Texas related to fentanyl.

He then spoke about a recent deadly crash along the border and said the victims would still be alive if more attention was focused on the border. He said 10,000 National Guard members were recently deployed to help secure the border and said Texas is building its own border wall to deter people from coming in illegally.

He also spoke about an incident in September that made national news when hundreds of Haitian migrants tried to enter the U.S. in Del Rio. 

"Our goal is to ensure that we do whatever is necessary to prevent any further caravans from crossing our border," he said.

"Since President Trump left office, I don't think there's been another individual who has done as much for border security as Governor Abbott," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said as he turned and thanked the governor publicly.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, Adjutant General of Texas Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Deputy Adjutant Gen. for Army Monie R. Ulis, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, local law enforcement and members of the National Border Patrol Council were also present.

Last Friday, Gov. Abbott took another jab at the Biden administration – by sharing on Twitter that his launch of the operation had to be done.

"One year ago, I launched #OperationLoneStar to secure the border & do the job Washington would not. I refuse to let our state be overrun by criminals, deadly drugs like fentanyl, & victims of human trafficking. Texas will keep our communities safe," he wrote.

Abbott said in a video statement that across South Texas, more than 208,000 migrants have been arrested and there have been 11,800 charges for criminal offenses – including more than 9,300 felony charges. He also said DPS has seized more 269 million lethal doses of fentanyl throughout the state.

"Securing the border includes arresting and prosecuting anyone committing border-related crimes in Texas," said Gov. Abbott. "The launch of our second Operation Lone Star jail booking facility builds upon the unprecedented actions taken by Texas to respond to the Biden Administration's open border policies."   

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