February 18, 2022 | Austin, Texas | Press Release
Governor Greg Abbott today held a roundtable in Conroe on crime related to illegal immigration. The Governor was joined by members of law enforcement and families whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants. The families shared their stories with the Governor, and law enforcement representatives discussed how Texas will continue to apprehend dangerous individuals attempting to cross the border in the wake of President Biden’s refusal to solve the border crisis.
“Lives are tragically being lost and communities are being devastated because of the open border policies put in place by President Biden,” said Governor Abbott. “These lax policies invite crime and contraband into our communities because dangerous actors can more easily enter our country and wreak havoc on innocent families. We mourn with the families here today whose loved ones were killed by illegal immigrants, and we vow to continue our efforts to secure the border and keep our communities safe so that innocent lives are protected.”
During the roundtable, Governor Abbott and attendees discussed the deadly consequences of President Biden’s refusal to enforce existing laws related to illegal immigration. The Governor also outlined the actions the State of Texas has taken to secure our communities in the wake of the border crisis, including passing bail reform last session and building the Texas border wall. Additionally, Governor Abbott discussed how Texas has opened two jail booking facilities through Operation Lone Star to arrest individuals for border-related crimes such as trespassing, smuggling, and trafficking. Operation Lone Star has led to nearly 9,000 felony charges and more than 11,000 criminal arrests. Additionally, more than 200,000 individuals have been apprehended through the mission. The roundtable concluded with a discussion of potential legislative proposals to address border-related crime.
The following individuals attended the Governor’s roundtable:
Mary Ann Mendoza, whose son, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, was killed in 2014 by a drunk driver who was in the United States illegally.
Kiyan and Bobby Michael, whose son, Brandon Randolph Michael, was killed in a car accident by a driver who was in the United States illegally.
Marie Vega, whose son, Border Patrol Agent Javier “Harvey” Vega, Jr., was shot and killed during an attempted robbery by illegal immigrants while on a fishing trip with his family.
Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Mathis, Texas Department of Public Safety Deputy Director for Law Enforcement Operations
Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney
Mike Holley, Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney
Donna Berkley, Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Felony Division Chief
Sheriff Rand Henderson, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Major Tim Cannon, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Tim Holifield, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Melvin Franklin, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Dan Norris, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Mac McKelvy, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Kenny Dunlap, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Captain Jimmy Malmay, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Lieutenant Jermaine Jenkins, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Lieutenant Jeremiah Richards, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Lieutenant Scott Spencer, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Governor Abbott’s actions to secure the border include:
- Signing laws that provide $3 billion in funding for Texas’ border security efforts
- Launching Operation Lone Star and deploying thousands of National Guard soldiers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers
- Arresting and jailing illegal migrants trespassing or committing other state crimes in Texas
- Building the border wall in Texas
- Signing a law to make it easier to prosecute smugglers bringing people into Texas
- Signing 15 laws cracking down on human trafficking in Texas
- Signing a law enhancing penalties for the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl
- Issuing a disaster declaration for the border crisis
- Issuing an executive order preventing non-governmental entities from transporting illegal immigrants
- Taking legal action to enforce the Remain in Mexico and Title 42 policies in Texas