Abbott Says State Troops Repelled Stampede
When U.S. Border Patrol Agents Did the Job

Capitol Inside
March 17, 2023

Governor Greg Abbott contended on Friday that state police and military forces turned back a migrant rush at the border in El Paso last weekend when federal agents actually deserved the credit for dispersing the stampede on an international bridge that links Texas to Mexico.

"Operation Lone Star Repels Rush Of Illegal Immigrants At El Paso Border," the Republican governor declared in a headline on an email that provided an analysis of the development by a Department of Public Safety official and new Texas Border Czar Mike Banks.

The Abbott communique sums up comments that DPS Lieutenant Chris Olivarez served up Fox News this week when he sought to pin the blame for the surge in El Paso on Sunday on devious tactics by drug lords in an attempt to sew chaos for the sake of cover for illicit activities on and near the Rio Grande.

"The cartels are also spreading messages on social media to try to get people to come across and distract law enforcement," Olivarez said. "They want to expose more vulnerable gaps along the border so they can bring across criminals, fugitives, or drugs.”

Banks offered a more credible observation of the blockade on the Paso Del Norte Bridge that about 1,000 Venzuelans encountered above the river between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso - acknowledging that the Operation Lone Star members simply provided backup for the U.S. Border Patrol at the scene of the surge. Banks warned of more to come as a consequence of psychological factors in play.

“The soldiers and troopers did an outstanding job assisting," Banks said. "But I think this is just the beginning. We have immigrants amassing at our southern border hoping for a chance to apply. When they get tired of waiting, tired of the broken promises, they are going to start pushing forward.”

Abbott, Banks and Olivarez all agreed that President Joe Biden and the federal government deserved the brunt of the criticism for refusing to secure the border the way the governor has demanded.

“Texans are furious about the lawlessness caused by President Biden’s open border policies,” Abbott said. “Texas has done more than any state ever to secure our border.”

According to media accounts of the bridge confrontation, hundreds of migrants who were mostly Venezuelans stormed the bridge amid rumors that the U.S. government would be allowing them all to cross at once while observing a "special day" for migrants. The dynamics that the state border czar described appeared to be an ingredient in the surge as well.

The governor blasted the Biden administration seven different times in the report on the bridge rush. But the federal government actually repelled the migrants in El Paso despite Abbott's claims to the contrary. The state has frequently taken credit for migrant apprehensions, drug busts and human smuggling disruptions on which the Border Patrol had the lead.

That appeared to be the case in El Paso early this week as well when U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents who were decked in riot gear and stationed behind barriers in the middle of the bridge.

more to come ...







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