RIO GRANDE VALLEY — The alarm clock sounded at 3 a.m. local time. It was dark and the skies were clear from the storm that had just passed. Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Lt. Craig Cummings, who was driving me around the valley, joked that we may face a more dangerous situation than the border had in store for us because of the tornado-like winds and torrential downpour that had swept through the area just hours before.
We decided the early morning would be the best time to capture suspected human smuggling attempts. Texas troopers with DPS supporting Operation Lone Star, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s initiative to combat nefarious activity from entering his state, dotted the roads making their presence known.
RIO GRANDE VALLEY — A top official within Texas’ effort to secure the U.S.-Mexico border told the Daily Caller News Foundation that his troops are prepared for a worst case scenario situation and that they can be deployed within hours to tackle it.
“We’re prepared to repel and block any sized element coming across,” The Texas National Guard border public affairs officer Major Mike Perry told the DCNF. “That’s what the rehearsals are for. Typically, they’re focused on one area cause it’s your low crossings and your ports. So, we can be anywhere with our ground assets in three hours to get the Steel Curtain up and prepare for it, and, of course, you saw the Contingency Reaction Force fly in with the military police.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Texas National Guard are prepared to “surge” resources to any location in Texas to “repel and block” large caravans or other illegal activity crossing the border, Perry explained.
Texas law enforcement officials have made more than 8,520 criminal arrests of illegal migrants since Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Wednesday.
Around 1,600 of the arrests were for criminal trespassing and about 6,800 felony charges were filed against illegal migrants from the time Abbott’s directive was issued through Oct. 28, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Press Secretary Ericka Miller told the DCNF.