Illegal border crossings have significantly decreased since the launch of Operation Lone Star, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Texas DPS Colonel Steve McCraw testified before the state Senate Committee on Border Security on Tuesday that Texas has seen a 74% decrease in illegal crossings following the implementation of Operation Lone Star (OLS) in March 2021, as reported by Fox 4 KDFW.

However, the costs of maintaining personnel and equipment have been pricey. Since the launch of the OLS program, $11 billion in taxpayer funds have been spent on the initiative, with a large portion of that going toward employing thousands of DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers, per Fox 4.

The policy group Every Texan responded to the testimony presented by DPS, expressing criticism of the funding dedicated to “punitive and wasteful actions such as Operation Lone Star.”

“Our state is spending billions of taxpayer dollars and making it more dangerous and more difficult to be an immigrant in Texas,” the organization said on its website.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced last month that the state has begun using drones as part of its OLS strategy to prevent crossings at the southern border, as reported by The Dallas Express.

“Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 513,100 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 43,700 criminal arrests,” according to a June 7 news release from the governor’s office. “Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border.”

Last week, President Biden announced his plan to “bar migrants who cross our Southern border unlawfully from receiving asylum,” per a White House press release. The president also approved the construction of a new border crossing facility near Eagle Pass, Texas, as previously reported by DX.