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A photo collage of Gov. Abbot, a map of the Texas-Mexico border, images of the border fence, a handcuffed pair of hands and Operation Lone Star paperwork.
Operation Lone Star

Gov. Greg Abbott brags about his border initiative. The evidence doesn’t back him up.

Arrests of U.S. citizens hundreds of miles from the border. Claiming drug busts from across the state. Changing statistics. The data that Texas leaders use to boast about Operation Lone Star raise more questions than answers.

A Border Patrol boat on the Rio Grande between Piedras Negras, Mexico, and Eagle Pass on Nov. 8, 2021.

Politics of border security

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to reporters at a meet and greet at a University Draft House in Edinburg on Nov. 30, 2021.
Texas DPS special agents apprehend a group of five undocumented migrants from Honduras that were caught in private property as part of Operation Lone Star in Kinney County near Brackettville, Texas on Nov. 8, 2021. The owner of the property did not sign an affidavit for arrests of undocumented migrants to be taking place at their property so the group of Hondurans will be processed by Border Patrol instead.
A Texas DPS special agent jus a fence after catching the undocumented migrants from Honduras in private property as part of Operation Lone Star in Kinney County near Brackettville, Texas on Nov. 8, 2021. The owner of the property did not sign an affidavit for arrests of undocumented migrants to be taking place at their property so they will be processed by Border Patrol instead.
Verónica G. Cárdenas for ProPublica/The Texas Tribune
Texas DPS special agents apprehend a group of undocumented migrants from Honduras that were caught in private property as part of Operation Lone Star in Kinney County near Brackettville, Texas on Nov. 8, 2021. The owner of the property did not sign an affidavit for arrests of undocumented migrants to be taking place at their property so the group of Hondurans will be processed by Border Patrol instead.
Verónica G. Cárdenas for ProPublica/The Texas Tribune
Texas Department of Public Safety special agents oversee a group of four Honduran undocumented migrants that were caught in private property in Kinney County near Brackettville, Texas on Nov. 9, 2021. The owner of the property did not sign the affidavit to allow DPS to arrest undocumented migrants in their property, so they will be processed by Border Patrol.
Verónica G. Cárdenas for ProPublica/The Texas Tribune

Trouble with the numbers

A group of Mexican undocumented migrants wait as they are being arrested by DPS as part of Operation Lone Star for trespassing private property in Kinney County, Texas on Nov. 9, 2021. 
Verónica G. Cárdenas for ProPublica/The Texas Tribune

A year later


About the data: How we analyzed criminal charges linked to Operation Lone Star

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