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Migrant crisis shifts to Democratic-led California and Arizona, Texas Gov. celebrates the ‘win’

In December, the number of encounters with migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico reached a record high. The U.S. Border Patrol data shows that there were nearly 250,000 encounters that month, easily eclipsing the previous peak of about 224,000 encounters in May 2022. Most of these encounters happen in Texas, where state authorities are mostly securing the border on their own in the absence of proper federal government help.

The Texas border crisis

As illegal immigration has emerged as the most important political topic recently, Texas has managed to hold the line at the border despite incidents with migrants who want to illegally enter the country. One such incident happened just recently when tens of migrants clashed with the Texas National Guard troops, rushing a border wall after getting through the razor wire. Texas authorities reinforced that specific spot in a matter of hours, while most of the migrants were pushed back to Mexico and those who entered the country were arrested.

A political battle

Since taking over the White House office, President Joe Biden and the federal government have been under constant pressure from political opponents for not securing the border. In February, the illegal immigration problem further escalated after Republican senators blocked the border bill, which aimed to provide funds for additional troops at the border. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been accusing each other of the border crisis, an issue that has also become a focal point in the presidential campaigns of the likely opponents, Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

A surprising trend

Many Republican-led states have provided help to Texas in recent years to secure the border. Combined with the efforts of Operation Lone Star, Texas improved security, and the number of illegal immigrants has been in continuous decline since December. In an effort to find other weak spots where they can easily cross the border, thousands of migrants are now heading to the border in Arizona and California instead of Texas. After all, the very expensive Texas operation is providing the desired results.

Read also: Ric Grenell says Biden admin will use the Texas and California border crisis as a political tool to bring millions of voters

There is 28% decrease in incidents where migrants were caught illegally crossing into Texas, California and Arizona incidents on the rise
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump – Credit: Greg Abbott, X official

A win for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott pointed out that his initiative, Operation Lone Star, aimed at stopping unauthorized migration, is indeed making a difference. This comes after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed statistics indicating a significant drop in illegal entries into Texas. Abbott highlighted an article from a right-leaning news source that used CBP’s data from March 22. This data showed that from October to February, the first five months of the fiscal year 2024, there was a 28 percent decrease in incidents where migrants were caught illegally crossing into Texas. Meanwhile, during the same timeframe, California and Arizona saw increases of 35 percent and 52 percent in similar incidents. Both states have a Democratic governor.

CBP data in favor of Texas

Abbott, on Tuesday, shared a piece from MRCTV, a conservative outlet, on X (formerly known as Twitter). The article, supported by CBP statistics, indicated a notable reduction in border crossings into Texas, contrary to increases observed in California and Arizona.

“Operation Lone Star is working. Look at the graph in this story,” the governor wrote.

“Illegal crossings are going down in TX while at the same time they are skyrocketing in CA & AZ. It’s b/c of the border wall, razor wire barriers, the National Guard & arrests by DPS,” he continued, referring to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Illegal immigration in Texas declines

The CBP data detailed a decrease in illegal crossings across all five Texas border regions from October to February, with the most significant drops seen in the Big Bend and El Paso areas, showing declines of 65 percent and 47 percent, respectively. These figures were followed by decreases in Laredo (38 percent), Rio Grande Valley (23 percent), and Del Rio (6 percent). On the contrary, Tucson, a border region in Arizona, experienced a 167 percent increase in such incidents, while San Diego in California saw a 76 percent rise.

There is 28% decrease in incidents where migrants were caught illegally crossing into Texas, California and Arizona incidents on the rise
Credit: Greg Abbott, X official

Read also: Minnesota Democrats push forward bill that aims to give free money to undocumented migrants every month

During the fiscal year 2023, law enforcement encountered 2.4 million migrants at the southern border, a jump from approximately 1.7 million in 2021, according to CBP data.

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