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Critics charge that Gov. Greg Abbott's Operation Lone Star is more about spectacle than seeking a workable solution to the spike in border crossings.
New numbers released this week
by U.S. Customs and Border Protection contradict Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's repeated claim that the Biden administration has an open-borders policy.
Apprehensions of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border declined in June and July. However, a New York Times analysis
of CBP's data reveals that the number of apprehensions for the first 10 months of the federal government's 2022 fiscal year blew past the total for all of the prior fiscal year.
By the end of June, border security officials undertook more than 1.74 million apprehensions, surpassing 2021's total of 1.73 million, according to the Times
. Last year's number was the highest recorded since 1960, the paper also notes.
On the current current trajectory, officials are likely to apprehend more than 2 million border crossers by the end of the 2022 fiscal year, according to the Times
' number crunching.
Abbott has made border security the centerpiece of his 2022 reelection campaign, repeatedly claiming that the Biden administration has thrown open the gates to illegal border crossers.
The Republican governor has faced criticism
for Operation Lone Star, his costly initiative dispatching Texas National Guard troops to round up asylum seekers. Additionally, the U.S. Justice Department is reportedly investigating
the mission for potential civil-rights violations.
The New York Times
' story also casts doubt on another Abbott claim: that the rise in border-crossing attempts is primarily driven by Biden's campaign pledge to be more welcoming to asylum seekers than hardline predecessor Donald Trump.
Nearly one in five people apprehended in July were repeat crossers, according to the Times
. Some experts blame that trend on the Trump administration's use of Title 42, a public health rule that lets border officials turn away migrants but includes no penalties for people who make multiple attempts to cross, according to the paper.
The Biden White House sought to end Title 42 in May but has been stymied in the courts
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