U.S. military troops were just deployed to address an increasingly critical situation, but it wasn’t President Joe Biden who gave the order for them to do so.
Rather, it was on the order of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) that an additional 200 Texas National Guard troops and accompanying equipment were dispatched to the state’s southern border to help guard against unlawful entries, RedState reported.
Those troops will join others who had previously been deployed to the El Paso area, which has become a focal point for illegal immigration and illicit drug trafficking.
More troops deployed as part of Operation Lone Star
The Washington Times reported on Friday that the Texas National Guard would make use of C-130J cargo planes to transport 200 soldiers and 40 Humvees to the El Paso area to bolster the roughly 400 troops who had already been deployed there.
The deployment is part of Operation Lone Star, which was launched by Gov. Abbott last year in a state-run effort to make up for the shortcomings on President Biden’s decidedly lax policies on enforcing border security and immigration laws.
It was also made in advance of the eventual court-ordered end of the Title 42 public health order — thankfully paused for the time being by the Supreme Court on appeal from a group of states — that allows for the immediate expulsion of migrants at the border, and without which there is anticipated to be a massive surge of illegal entries.
“You cannot just cross anywhere you want. We’re focused on deterrence, on demonstrating that we can be where we need to be anywhere on this border,” Maj. Gen. Win Burkett, commander of the Texas National Guard’s 36th Infantry Division and director of operations for Operation Lone Star, told the media. “We can surge in a very short amount of time.”
The major operation, as well as the anticipation of a surge in illegal immigration once Title 42 is lifted, is not confined solely to the El Paso area, as the Times noted that an unnamed Texas Guard official said, “All sectors along the border are increasing their response posture to protect Texas against the flood of immigrants and cartel activity streaming into our state.”
Guarding the border and providing humanitarian and logistical support
According to NBC News, the Texas National Guard troops already deployed to the El Paso area have been using armored vehicles and concertina wire to create makeshift barriers along the border, watched over by armed soldiers, that is intended to disrupt and discourage attempts at illegal entry into the country.
Those troops, along with Texas State Police units, have reportedly been warning migrants who approach the barriers that they are not allowed to cross at those locations and have instead directed them toward the nearest legal port of entry.
The only problem with that, at least from the migrants’ perspective, per NBC, is that under the provisions of Title 42 that continue to remain in effect, the migrants are barred from legally applying for asylum and are instead turned away.
The report further noted that in addition to guarding the makeshift border barriers, according to city officials, the National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety officials deployed to the area have also been providing much-needed humanitarian and logistical support to deal with the existing overflow of migrants who’ve already entered and to help keep the community safe.
Texas stepping up to do what Biden won’t
Gov. Abbott, who has been highly critical of President Biden’s “open border” policy since he first took office, recently lamented the negative impact Biden’s policies have had on his state and the border region more broadly in comparison to the effective border security policies that had been in place under former President Donald Trump.
“Now under President Biden, America has far more record-setting numbers of people coming across the border than ever before,” Abbott said during a recent appearance on Fox News. “Texas is having to step up and take extraordinary efforts that have never been undertaken by any state in the history of the United States to try to secure our border.”