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Operation Lone Star

Thanks to local politics and a railroad, rural Kinney County accounts for most of Texas’ migrant arrests

Under Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security push, Texas state police have arrested hundreds of migrants in the conservative county, usually after spotting them on cargo trains or walking remote ranch lands. Sent to a state prison retooled as an immigration jail, many men were left without lawyers for weeks.

A group of migrants walk off a pick-up truck after being apprehended by Department of Public Safety officers at a train depot in Spofford on Aug. 25, 2021.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers ride all-terrain vehicles near a train depot in Spofford on Aug. 25, 2021. The officers were patrolling the area for migrants.
A group of migrants wait near a private road after being apprehended by Department of Public Safety officers at a train depot in Spofford on Aug. 25, 2021.
TKTK
Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe in his office in Bracketville on Aug. 24. 2021.

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