Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott continues to keep fighting to keep the Texas-Mexico border secure and limit the number of migrants flowing across it. That anti-migration effort includes, as the governor recently announced on X (formerly Twitter), legislation aimed at combatting human trafficking across the southern border.
Particularly, the legislation that Gov. Abbott boosted in his X post would aim to enact harsher legal penalties to deter both human traffickers and those involved in running stash houses, or places where both trafficked humans and contraband like drugs are stored.
Announcing and describing the legislation, Gov. Abbott wrote, “Texas will not tolerate human smuggling, stash houses, and cartel activity at our border. Ready to sign into law a 10 year mandatory minimum for human smuggling and 5 years for stash house operations. This has been a key priority since Day 1 of the 88th Legislature.”
Texas will not tolerate human smuggling, stash houses, and cartel activity at our border.
Ready to sign into law a 10 year mandatory minimum for human smuggling and 5 years for stash house operations.
This has been a key priority since Day 1 of the 88th Legislature.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 26, 2023
Views on its efficacy were somewhat mixed in the comments section. One commenter thanked Abbott for standing up to trafficking, writing, “Thank you – human smuggling is a horrible thing.” Another, however, noted that traffickers could move their operations to states less interested in defending their borders, writing, “They’ll just go around Texas to democrat controlled Arizona and California.”
In another recent post, Gov. Abbott thanked the Texas legislature for funding his border wall and authorizing deportations of illegals, saying, “The Texas House passed key bills for Special Session #3: ✅ Criminalizing illegal entry into Texas and authorizing removal by licensed law enforcement ✅ More funding for the Texas border wall Thank you Rep. @JaceyJetton and Rep. @DavidSpillerTX for your work on this effort.”
Further, he highlighted his administration’s continued success in taking action to defend the border in a press statement titled, “Texas Bolsters Historic Border Response To Combat Human Smuggling,” noting the massive number of arrests and apprehensions, along with the doses of deadly fentanyl seized.
His office wrote, “Since the launch of Operation Lone Star, the multi-agency effort has led to over 480,000 illegal immigrant apprehensions and more than 35,700 criminal arrests, with more than 32,500 felony charges reported. In the fight against the fentanyl crisis, Texas law enforcement has seized over 434 million lethal doses of fentanyl during this border mission.”
The press statement went on to highlight the recently-passed anti-human trafficking legislation, saying, “During Special Session #3, Governor Abbott called on lawmakers to combat border-related criminal activity—including human smuggling, operating a stash house, and other crimes committed by ruthless cartels—through enhanced criminal penalties. This week, legislation increasing penalties for human smuggling and stash house operations passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature.”
Further, the press statement described the purpose of Operation Lone Star, saying, “Operation Lone Star continues to fill the dangerous gaps created by the Biden Administration’s refusal to secure the border. Every individual who is apprehended or arrested and every ounce of drugs seized would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and the nation due to President Joe Biden’s open border policies.”
It remains to be seen how many illegal immigrants the Abbott administration will be able to deport, or if the federal government manages to stop that program before he and the Texan law enforcement authorities get it going.
Featured image credit: By World Travel & Tourism Council – Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54703342
"*" indicates required fields