On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) to transfer all inmates from the Dolph Briscoe Unit in Dilley to other state facilities. The move, according to the TDCJ, is preparation for expected border area arrests involving migrants accused of violating state laws.
The news was first reported by a staff writer for the Marshall Project.
#BREAKING Multiple sources tell me the Governor’s office has ordered TDCJ to clear out the prisoners from one state prison – Briscoe Unit – so it can hold immigrants picked up by Texas state troopers for low-level charges as part of Operation Lone Star.
— Keri Blakinger (@keribla) June 17, 2021
According to the TDCJ spokesperson, “The state of Texas continues to deal with a significant number of individuals illegally crossing the border. To address the ongoing crisis, Governor Abbott is directing state resources to arrest and confine those individuals crossing the border unlawfully and who have committed a state or federal crime.”
The department, according to the spokesperson, is collaborating with the other state agencies to ensure the safe and secure detention of unlawful immigrants while they are in TDCJ custody and charged with a state offense.
In addition to those who have unlawfully entered, numerous other offenders are being encountered as part of Abbott’s ongoing efforts to deal with the crisis. Operation Lonestar, initiated in March, involves the deployment of 1,000 Texas Highway Patrol Troopers and the Army National Guard in response to the surge in migrant traffic.
Since Operation Lone Star began on March 4, more than 30,000 migrants have been referred to the Border Patrol. The operation has netted more than $1 million in currency seizures, 62 firearms, and more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
As previously reported by Breitbart Texas, the influx of patrol officers in border communities has resulted in a sharp increase in arrests along Texas highways. The increase has led overcrowding issues in county jails in border regions.
The Dolph Briscoe Unit is based in Frio County. The site sits on 426 acres and can house 1,384 inmates secured by 165 guards.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.