Increased presence of DPS troopers seen in Valley as Operation Lone Star underway
Nearly a week after Gov. Greg Abbott officially announced Operation Lone Star in order to provide more border security, Texas Department of Public Safety troopers have been visible along Expressway 83 in the area between Penitas and Roma, and even on unpaved roads near the Rio Grande.
Lt. Christopher Olivarez with Texas DPS says the number of people they've encountered crossing the border illegally has gone up.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC’s Good Morning America they are trying to rebuild the immigration system while providing adequate shelter to thousands of migrant children.
Meanwhile in Texas, in just two weeks, state police have come in contact with at least 3,000 migrants who are then turned over to Border Patrol.
There have been 17 vehicle pursuits— something that could be dangerous for drivers, Olivarez said.
On Tuesday, eight migrants died after a crash involving a human smuggler outside of Del Rio, which is nearly 150 miles west of San Antonio.
DPS says the purpose of its presence along the border is to show human and drug smugglers they are not welcome in Texas.
Some have criticized the added state trooper presence, but Olivarez wants to make sure people know the purpose of Operation Lone Star. According to Abbott and the DPS director, the operation is to go after criminals and provide security to residents along the border.
“Our troopers are not out there to target the community for traffic violations," Olivarez said.
MORE BORDER COVERAGE:
- More state troopers headed to border as part of Gov. Abbott's Operation Lone Star
- Valley residents concerned 'Operation Lone Star' may lead to increase in traffic stops, citations
- Video shows dozens of migrants rafting across Rio Grande
- Brownsville: 210 migrants have tested positive for COVID-19
- Child border crossings surge as DHS chief defends policies
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