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Texas Is Still Building Border Wall – But Is It Working?

Migrants are finding other areas to cross into the US illegally.

One survey after another shows that illegal immigration is a top concern for many Americans, who are increasingly unhappy with President Joe Biden and his administration’s efforts – or non-efforts – to stem the flood of migrants into the country. Lawmakers from along the southern border have been complaining for a while that the White House is not interested in solving the problem and that their requests to the government for help have gone unanswered. Texas, the state that has suffered the brunt of illegal migration, has been fighting back and is currently in a lawsuit against the Biden administration. Yet, Gov. Greg Abbot (R) continues with his efforts, including building the wall and adding wire barriers. Are these tactics working, and if so, how well?

Texas Immigration Laws Thwarting Illegals

Abbot has been relentless in trying to find ways to keep the Texas border secure. In the county of Zapata, the Texas National Guard is continuing to build the border wall. “Texas won’t back down,” the governor said in a video. “We are using every tool available to secure the border in Biden’s absence.”

The Lone Star State’s military operations in Eagle Pass are also being expanded. “Texas is amassing a large army in a very strategic area,” Abbot claimed.

These programs, and others, are part of Operation Lone Star (OLS), to which the Texas legislature has allocated more than $11.6 billion for border security over a four-year period, the most in state history. What Texas taxpayers have funded for the program is more than federal money allocated for the state’s security operations under the Trump administration, Representative Greg Bonnen, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, told The Center Square. He added:

“When you look at the appropriations for border security under the four years of the Trump administration in Texas, that was $1.6 billion. For the four years of the Biden presidency, Texas is appropriating $11.6 billion to do the same thing.”

In February, a Texas congressman filed a bill requesting Congress to reimburse the state for its border security efforts.

Are all these efforts and money working? Border Czar Mike Banks told the outlet that Texas has been so successful at blocking illegal entry that cartel activity has been pushed to Democratic-led states. “If you look at the number of illegal border crossings today, Texas counts for 30% of those crossings. The remaining 70% are crossing in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Why? Because they’re not putting up the resistance that Texas is.”

The increase in National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers placing razor wire and other barricades has had a significant impact on illegal immigrants crossing into Texas. As New York Post explained, a most dramatic example was when Texas troops went to Shelby Park in Eagles Pass and placed shipping containers at the banks of the Rio Grande. They also started arresting migrants crossing illegally. “[T]he DPS said crossings dropped from 2,000 to 3,000 a day to around five,” after that maneuver.

OLS was launched in 2021, and Texas law enforcement has since apprehended nearly 500,000 illegal migrants “and made more than 39,000 criminal arrests with more than 35,000 felony charges reported,” The Center Square pointed out. “They’ve also seized more than 458 million lethal doses of fentanyl, enough to kill more than everyone in the United States and Canada.” More than 100,000 foreign nationals were transported to sanctuary cities such as New York City.

Abbot defends his OLS program and says it “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.”

While Texas is having a lot of success, that doesn’t mean illegal migrants have stopped trying to get into the US. They have just changed entries, with many going to California. The San Diego sector of the border saw around 2,300 migrants in custody as of May 8. That sector only has the capacity to hold 750 people, The Post explained.

According to NewsNation, in April, for the first time in 20 years, San Diego was the number one area for illegal crossing with 37,700 encounters that month. Tucson, AZ, was next with 31,240, then El Paso, TX, with 30,410, and Del Rio, TX, with 10,275. Since October 1, the San Diego sector has “witnessed an alarming 214,855 apprehensions, which speaks volumes about the magnitude of the challenge we face,” Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon, a San Diego suburb, told the outlet. He added:

“This is an invasion. Every night, hundreds of illegal immigrants enter the southern border and wait for the Border Patrol to take them to San Diego. I saw this firsthand as dozens of Chinese nationals were on a remote dirt road, waiting for Border Patrol to process them. I also saw dozens of ripped-up passports indicating that illegal immigrants are trying to conceal their identity. We don’t know who is coming in or their background.”

Wells said that there have been more than 40,000 street releases into the county since September. “This is not only a humanitarian crisis but also a significant security risk for our region and our nation,” he said, adding that it is “abundantly clear that the federal government has failed in its duty to secure our borders.”

The efforts put forth in Texas have shown that border walls and barriers do work as a deterrent to stem the flood of migrants into the area. The US, as well as other states, might want to take a closer look and consider implementing some stricter immigration policies as well.

Read More From Kelli Ballard

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