Policy matters: Illegal immigrant traffic to Texas drops, shifts to Arizona, California

Texas Governor Greg Abbott by is licensed under YouTube
EAGLE PASS, TX - As the standoff between the Biden Administration and Texas law enforcement and National Guard units continues, reports have indicated that much of the flow of illegal immigration has shifted from the border with Texas to the adjoining borders of neighboring Arizona and California.

In a Thursday report, CBS News stated that immigration officials have recorded that approximately 60% of all illegal border crossings are now taking place in Arizona and California rather than Texas, citing internal federal government figures. The outlet noted an overall decrease in illegal immigrant apprehensions by nearly half from December into January, which coincides with Texas Governor Greg Abbott's escalation of Operation Lone Star in a massive crackdown announced in November 2023.

During a Sunday event hosting over a dozen Republican fellow governors at the Eagle Pass Park closed off by the Texas National Guard, Abbott told them that the decrease in illegal immigration in Texas is owed largely to the actions taken by officials on his orders.

"The cartels have rerouted their routes to cross the border because Texas is the only state that's putting up any resistance," Abbott told his colleagues. "Despite the fact that Texas represents more than 60% of the land miles of the border, the overwhelming majority now of people crossing the border are crossing in Arizona and California, two states that are putting up no resistance to illegal immigration."

Acting in opposition to the Biden administration, Texas officials at Abbott's order have placed rows of concertina wire and stacked shipping containers along the shore of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass to staunch the flow as previously reported by Law Enforcement Today. Competing legal action has ensued between Texas and the Federal government leading to a tense standoff between ICE/CBP officials and Texas National Guard troops.

U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake appeared to concur with Abbott Thursday, indicating that the "epicenter" of illegal immigration has shifted to Arizona, posting to X, "Tucson Border Patrol apprehended an average of 2,000 illegal immigrants a day last week. With Texas taking bold action, Arizona is officially epicenter of the border crisis. While @RubenGallego & @KyrstenSinema dither away in DC, doing everything in their power NOT to secure our border, the #Bideninvasion continues unabated."

Newsweek reported that the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector apprehended 13,800 suspected illegal migrants in the final week of January, a stark increase from the previous 5,900 during the same week of 2023. 

Chief Patrol Agent John R. Modlin of the Tucson Sector posted the figures to X on February 2, adding that 189 of the apprehensions resulted in Federal Criminal Cases, 27 were "Human Smuggling Events" and 1.5 lbs of lethal fentanyl were recovered, enough to kill over 680,000 people according to the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory.

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