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SP Vide 1

TRAVEL ADVISORY
MAP

*Map information as of December 2023.

This map displays the counties in Texas that have implemented policies and actions against immigrants, particularly under Operation Lone Star (OLS). It is important to note that these findings are within the context of Texas being a state with a strong pro-incarceration and anti-immigrant stance. In Texas, immigrants and people of color face varying degrees of risk. However, no areas can be considered sanctuaries or jurisdictions where they are not under threat from local, state, and federal law enforcement.

 

Since March 2021, Governor Abbott’s racist and costly Operation Lone Star has dramatically increased the state infrastructure to criminalize and deport individuals. As of December 2023, at least 58 counties are complicit with this operation, which has resulted in the criminalization of more than 10,000 asylum seekers, border residents, and long-term immigrant residents in the state. Moreover, two processing centers and three jails in Texas are exclusively dedicated to incarcerating people arrested under OLS. OLS has also dramatically expanded the military presence in our border by deploying thousands of in-state and out-of-state National Guard soldiers. 


OLS costs Texas taxpayers more than $2.5 million per week. The current OLS local infrastructure to arrest, prosecute and jail migrants are reflected on this map, as we have included participating counties, processing or booking centers, and jails.

Newly enacted legislation in Texas codifies OLS into law and expands its powers state-wide. If you’re unfamiliar with the recent anti-immigrant legislation in Texas, see the brief summaries below:

SB602

Signed by Gov. Abbott effective as of September 1, 2023

This bill gives the authority to Customs Border Patrol officers to arrest and search and seizure under any Texas felony in the state penal code. This enforcement can happen at CBP Checkpoints and within 30 miles of any port of entry.

SB4 (3)*

* Called during 3rd Special Session

Signed by Gov. Abbott effective as of February 6, 2024

This bill increases the minimum prison sentence for the state offense of "smuggling of persons" to 10 years (Texas Penal Code, section 20.05). If the smuggling offenses are elevated to first degree felonies, the minimum prison term is 15 years unless another provision of law applicable to the offense provides a longer minimum prison term.

SB4 (4)*

* Called during 4th Special Session

Signed by Gov. Abbott effective as of March 5, 2023

This bill introduces three new state offenses, namely: a) "illegal entry from a foreign nation," b) "illegal reentry by certain aliens," and c) "refusal to comply with an order to return to a foreign nation." It empowers any peace officer to profile and detain individuals whom they suspect have entered the state between points of entry. The bill also gives magistrate court judges and criminal courts the authority to "order" individuals to "return to a foreign nation" and prosecute those who refuse to comply.

SB3

Signed by Gov. Abbott effective as of March 5, 2023

This bill would send approximately $1.5 billion to the Office of the Governor to fund border barrier infrastructure and border security operations, including to the DPS for an increased law enforcement presence in the Colony Ridge development.

HOW TO USE
THE MAP

You can roll over the map to get specific information on each county. The colors indicate risk factors for county travel including: OLS Declarations, Prosecutions, Jails, 287(g) agreements, CBP Checkpoints, and the presence of hate groups.

 

If you wish to inform us about a risk factor being present in your county, please email ccanizales@ilrc.org and lgraber@ilrc.org. If you wish to report an individual case of law enforcement abuse then please fill out this form

 

This is a tool for advocacy and organizing. The more we know about each county, the more we can inform our fight against Operation Lone Star and anti-immigrant bills like SB4. We also hope that this map will provide warning information to anyone traveling in or visiting Texas. 

DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS

OLS Emergency
Disaster Declaration

 These counties joined Governor Abbott's emergency disaster declaration after March 2021, stating that they are suffering an emergency disaster situation because of immigrants at the Texas-Mexico border. These counties agreed to receive state funding and increased DPS state troopers and national guard presence to arrest anyone they suspect of crossing the Texas-Mexico border without authorization. The state then prosecutes these migrants for criminal trespassing. 


*Note: Many of these counties passed a declaration but have yet to receive funding or police support on the ground to make arrests.

OLS Invasion Declaration

These counties joined Governor Abbott’s invasion declaration after June of 2022. They believe that Texas is being invaded by migrants and that we must use military power to stop it. These counties agreed to receive state funding, and increase DPS state troopers and national guard presence, to arrest anyone they suspect of crossing the Texas-Mexico border without authorization and prosecute them for smuggling.

 

This invasion declaration also allows out-of-state national guards to patrol and aid in the arrests of individuals; we've seen activity from Florida, North Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Mississippi


*Note: Some of these counties passed a declaration but have yet to receive funding, police or miitary support on the ground to make arrests.

OLS Prosecutions

These counties receive state funding, increased state trooper and national guard presence, and also have set-up a special prosecution system to arrest and prosecute people under the multiple declarations mentioned above. These counties have actively used their local law enforcement agencies and resources to criminalize migrants, border residents and other people of color under OLS. Counties that prosecute high numbers of people are indicated with a risk factor 4 on the map, while counties with fewer than 50 prosecutions per month have a 2 risk factor.

OLS Booking Facilities and Jails

These counties receive state funding to maintain booking and jail facilities specifically for processing and detaining anyone arrested under OLS.

287(g) Agreements

These are counties who have an active 287(g) agreement which authorizes sheriff’s departments to act as immigration agents inside the county jails. More information about 287(g) is available here.

Hate Groups

As of 2022 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has identified 73 hate groups in Texas. Our map included hate groups as a risk factor because their presence can result in more hostility for already vulnerable residents or travelers. You can learn more about the hate groups operating in Texas here: https://www.splcenter.org/states/texas*

*Data is from the Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map: “Each year since 1990, the SPLC has published an annual census of hate groups operating within the United States. The number is a barometer, albeit only one, of the level of hate activity in the country. The hate map, which depicts the groups' approximate locations, is the result of a year of monitoring by analysts and researchers and is typically published annually. It represents activity by hate groups during the previous year.”

Customs and Border Protections Checkpoints

These are checkpoints established within 100 miles of the international border line. 

They are set-up to check proper documentation of people traveling from border areas into the interior of the state. The CATO Institute has offered this tool to track these checkpoints, and the ACLU of Texas provided us with data for our map.

Credits and Contributions

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center is responsible for the creation and upkeep of the data in this map, and we do this in collaboration with Border Network for Human Rights, Grassroots Leadership and ACLU of Texas.

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WHAT IS
OPERATION LONE STAR?

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Operation Lone Star is an over $5 billion enforcement operation that targets our migrant community for arrest, jail, and deportation. Created by Gov. Greg Abbott, the illegal and discriminatory scheme is designed to criminalize and rapidly deport migrants, many of whom are our coworkers, neighbors, friends, and family seeking safety in the U.S.

 

Lone Star violates the Constitution, promotes racial profiling, fuels the mass incarceration of people of color, and encourages white supremacy rhetoric that is harmful to ALL Texans.  

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OLS Spending
SP Video 2

THE FACTS

  • Draining more than $5 billion of Texas taxpayer dollars (at a cost to taxpayers of more than $2.5 million a week).

  • At least 13,000 people have been criminalized and prosecuted for bogus OLS (such as “trespassing” and "criminal mischief") charges.

  • At least 10,000 Texas law enforcement officials deployed, including the Texas National Guard, state troopers, and local sheriffs.

  • 58 participating counties in a disaster declaration for border and non-border areas. 

  • Three state prisons have been repurposed to incarcerate migrant communities: the Dolph Briscoe Unit, Lopez Unitand Segovia Unit. 

  • Two booking facilities to process people in Val Verde and Jim Hogg counties. 

  • At least 74 killed and another 189 injured by law enforcement under Operation Lone Star counties in which vehicle pursuits took place.

People Detained by Operation Lone Star

Video courtesy of Grassroots Leadership

OLS Impact
SP Video 3

TAKE ACTION TO END
OPERATION LONE STAR

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DEMAND a Budget for ALL Texans: Say NO to Operation Lone Star!

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RESOURCES

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Op-Ed for In These Times by Latino Justice PRLDEF

Public Comment for the Texas Senate Border Committee on Operation Lone Star

Fact Sheet by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Statement by Human Rights Watch denouncing Texas assault on migrants

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties complaint sent to the Department of Homeland Security

Legal complaint by ACLU and Texas Civil Rights Project sent to the Department of Justice

14 public defender offices from across the country urge the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Operation Lonestar

Legal complaints submitted to the Department of Justice

100 organizations ask DOJ to investigate Operation Lonestar 

Fact sheet by Just Futures Law

Law professors complaint to DOJ

Letter from 50 Texas Representatives and MALC demanding investigation into Operation Lonestar 

Letter led by Rep. Veronica Escobar demanding an investigation into Operation Lonestar 

Letter led by Rep. Joaquin Castro demanding an investigation into Operation Lonestar

Attorney and directly impacted people testimonies by Grassroots Leadership 

Video by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Press conference by Texas Civil Rights Project 

Webinar by ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

66 non-profit organizations, advocates, and attorneys demand that Union Pacific end its collaboration with Operation Lonestar

Press release by Human Rights Watch denouncing Operation Lonestar

Ethics complaint against Judge Tully Shahan for his abuses pursuant to Operation Lonestar by Texas Fair Defense Project

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