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More than 100 sheriffs express support for Operation Lone Star

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(The Center Square) – More than 100 sheriffs in Texas expressed support for Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security effort, Operation Lone Star. They also are calling for the border crisis to be declared a “United States constitutional crisis and crimes against humanity.”

In a letter to the governor, the sheriffs “respectfully request that our Texas border be immediately secured by any lawful means.”

They also reiterated their commitment to their oath to “faithfully preserve, protect and defend the Constitution,” federal and state laws, and American citizens.

Led by Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith, president of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, the sheriffs said the unprecedented atrocities occurring at the border are “indisputable.”

“Unvetted migrants crossing into Texas for more than 120 countries include cartel members, gang members, known or suspected terrorists, and human traffickers – all of whom pose a clear and present danger to America and her citizens. The influx of illegal drugs has irreversibly damaged our communities. Amassed deaths by illicit drugs originated from Mexico alone (more than 100,000 deaths per year) could be considered a weapon of mass destruction.

“Equally alarming is how our unsecured border is directly responsible for numerous criminal victimizations of citizens and non-citizens as well as numerous human rights violations.” The human rights violations being committed because of the border crisis “include but are not limited to murder, child and adult sexual assault and abuse, human trafficking, kidnapping, indentured servitude, forced child labor, identity theft, and exploitation of workers.”

They reiterated what military experts have warned: that weaponized migration and federal policies opening the border are “intentional and deliberate.”

Their letter comes after 55 Texas counties have declared an invasion and 60 have issued disaster declarations, all citing the border crisis.

“The unsecured border is deliberate, destructive, and inhumane violation of Texas and federal law,” the letter states. “It overwhelms the resources of Texas and the United States and encourages continued invasion by unknown criminals and unvetted persons.”

They said that border security and immigration are mutually exclusive and the United States is facing a national security threat.

The unsecured Texas border “is in direct opposition to our primary responsibility to defend and maintain the United States and Texas sovereignty, to provide security” and “stand in unity with our governor to protect our citizens.”

Gov. Greg Abbott said their partnership “is critical as we continue fighting President Joe Biden’s deadly border crisis to protect Texas – and America.”

Brooks County Sheriff Benny Martinez, vice chair of the National Sheriff’s Association, a leader among Texas border sheriffs and part of the Texas Border Coalition, joined the group. He told The Center Square what concerns them all is “the uptick in fentanyl” being brought into their counties from the southern border. “This is a challenge for all the sheriffs throughout Texas.”

A leader in Goliad County Sheriff Roy Boyd’s Operation Lone Star Task Force, he Martinez they are seeing an increase of weapons being trafficked to Mexico, including illegal firearms and ammunition, and stolen trucks and vehicles being used to transport them.

“Through intel and other tools being utilized, task force members are working in collaboration” to seize the illegal contraband, he said. Cartel operatives and gangs smuggle people and drugs north from Mexico into the U.S. They also steal cars to transport weapons, ammunition, cash and other contraband south as part of their illicit trafficking network and expansive criminal enterprise, task force members have explained to The Center Square.

Without OLS funding, interdicting this level of border crime “would be very difficult especially when you don’t have resources, funding, and personnel,” Martinez said. “There are a lot of underlying issues that go along combating these type of crimes.”

“Texas is leading, not Washington, D.C., the current administration has failed us.”

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