EXCLUSIVE: Texas Says State’s Border Security Op Effectively Moving Migrant Crossings to Other States

A migrant group marches through the desert in Arizona. (U.S Border Patrol/Tucson Sector)
U.S Border Patrol/Tucson Sector

The Texas governor’s office says Operation Lone Star successfully moves migrant border crossings to other states, including the northern U.S. border with Canada. A recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection report indicates a decrease in migrant apprehensions in Texas-based border sectors and a simultaneous increase in the Tucson, Miami, and Canadian border sectors.

“Governor Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to fill in the dangerous gaps created by President Biden’s reckless open border policies,” Andrew Mahaleris, press secretary to Governor Greg Abbott told Breitbart Texas. “States like Arizona are following President Biden’s lead, allowing even more migrants to surge into our country while Texas is holding the line.”

The June Nationwide Encounters Report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows that Fiscal Year 2023 year-to-date apprehensions of migrants crossing the border between ports of entry in the five Texas-based border sectors fell by nearly 11.33 percent compared to the same period last year. In contrast, apprehensions in the Tucson Sector rose by more than 20 percent.

“Increased apprehensions in border states west of Texas show our deterrence strategies are effective, as migrants choose to illegally cross in states that have left the door wide open for them,” Mahaleris stated.

The Tucson Sector is the only non-Texas-based southwest border sector showing increased migrant apprehensions this year over last. The apprehension of 234,667 migrants in FY23 in this sector compares to the 195,115 migrants apprehended over the same period in FY22.

Tucson Sector migrant apprehensions

Tucson Sector migrant apprehensions

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick with the American Immigration Council tweeted that migrants entering in the Tucson Sector “mostly try to avoid arrest.” This contrasts with other sectors on the southwest border, where migrants tend to surrender to make asylum claims.

In the five Texas-based border sectors, agents apprehended just over one million migrants during the first nine months of FY22. This year’s apprehension of nearly 908,000 migrants represents a more than 11 percent drop.

Migrant apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Del Rio, Big Bend, and El Paso Border Patrol Sectors.

Migrant apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, Del Rio, Big Bend, and El Paso Border Patrol Sectors.

Migrants also appear to have shifted from the Texas-based sectors to the U.S.-Canada border, where CBP reports an increase of 417 percent over the same period last year. The Swanton Sector alone shows an increase of 777 percent. In the Swanton Sector,  nationals.

Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia tweeted that his agents arrested more migrants in less than ten months than in the previous eight years combined. The CBP report shows nearly half of the migrants apprehended crossing from Canada into this sector which covers Vermont, New Hampshire, and the eastern New York border are reported to be Mexican nationals.

A large percentage of migrants in this sector also attempt to avoid apprehension.

Migrant Apprehensions in Northern U.S. Border Patrol Sectors

Migrant Apprehensions in Northern U.S. Border Patrol Sectors

Agents in the Miami Sector also reported an increase in migrant apprehensions. So far this fiscal year, agents apprehended 5,523 migrants. This represents a 153 percent increase over the 2,183 apprehended during the same period last year.

Breitbart Texas reached out to CBP officials for an explanation of why they believe migrants are making the shift from Texas to Arizona and the Northern border. While not responding directly to the question, CBP offered the following:

The United States Border Patrol analyzes and tracks illicit migration and drug trafficking trends and will adjust our enforcement posture, resources, and personnel accordingly to address those threat streams.

“Under Operation Lone Star, Texas National Guard soldiers and DPS troopers have apprehended over 393,000 illegal immigrants, repelled more than 49,000 illegal immigrants, seized over 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl and over 8,000 weapons, and arrested over 31,000 criminals – all of which would have otherwise made their way into communities across Texas and our country thanks to President Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott’s press secretary concluded. “Until President Biden steps up and does his job, Texas will continue utilizing every tool and strategy to respond to this border crisis.”


Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice threatened Texas with a lawsuit if it does not remove the recently installed floating border barrier near Eagle Pass, Texas, Breitbart Texas reported.

Governor Abbott responded, “See you in court, Mr. President.”

Bob Price serves as the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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