According to figures compiled by mid-October, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers arrested 7,744 unlawful migrants on criminal charges. Bob Price of Breitbart News observed that the “arrests include 1,300 for criminal trespassing and 6,339 on felony charges.”
On top of that, DPS troopers apprehended 73,031 unlawful migrants in total. These figures include referrals to Border Patrol. DPS law enforcement officials were also involved in 822 vehicle pursuits. “We’re not doing ‘catch & release’, we’re doing ‘catch & jail,’” Texas DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez previously said to Fox News back in September.
In one high-profile pursuit that Fox News covered, a female human smuggler from Austin, Texas, compelled state troopers to pursue her in a high-speed car chase that resulted in a crash.
Bill Melugin, a reporter at KTTV-TV Fox 11, published a picture of a group on Twitter. The photo showed a group of 11 unlawful migrants that troopers apprehended on a private ranch in Kinney County on the night of October 25, 2021.
Some of these unlawful migrants wore camouflage and tried to escape before being arrested and placed into custody for criminally trespassing on private property.
The recent apprehension cases of smugglers and unlawful migrants showcase an alarming degree of damage inflicted on farms and ranches that are not just confined to border areas but also in the Texan interior.
In one video that Breitbart’s Randy Clark posted, there was a significant amount of trash and clothing dumped on a rancher’s land, which points to unlawful migrants committing these acts of littering.
“The rancher says most of each day’s labor is spent repairing fences and water systems servicing animal life. Little time is left for typical operations and improvements,” Clark recounted. “He says migrants often break water pipes connected to livestock tanks—exposing animal life to deadly dehydration. Damaged fences can result in cattle wandering onto the bordering highway and cause vehicular accidents.” Clark added, “In those cases, the ranch would be held liable.”
This uptick in border enforcement and internal immigration enforcement is part of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s “Catch and Jail” program. This approach is part of the broader “Operation Lone Star” that Governor Abbott implemented earlier in 2021.
Governor Abbott and Republican leaders believe that the federal government has not taken sufficient steps in securing the border and addressing immigration in general. As a result, the Texas government has taken proactive steps in creating solutions at the state level.
Furthermore, the Governor’s Office has likely been compelled to take more rigid stances on immigration due to primary challengers such as former Texas State Senator Don Huffines and former Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West.
The two challengers for governor have made stricter immigration enforcement a centerpiece of their respective campaigns. As a result, they may have motivated Abbott to take more vigorous immigration enforcement measures.
With immigration being one of the main issues that former President Donald Trump used to get elected in 2016, it will likely continue to be a polarizing issue that grassroots conservatives are deeply concerned about.