After a trip to Del Rio that featured a Texas Department of Public Safety security briefing on Operation Lone Star and a survey of the border by helicopter, State Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) and Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis each called the visit a success.
Landgraf and Griffis were joined on their border visit by Congressman August Pfluger (R-San Angelo), State Rep. Andrew Murr (R-Junction) and Midland County Sheriff David Criner.
Once the visit concluded, Landgraf and Griffis via phone each spoke about what they experienced during their trip to Del Rio.
“It was a very good trip and I’m very happy that we did it,” Landgraf said. “We have certainly seen some areas where we need to make some improvements, but also found some good examples of things that are working really well.”
Griffis added: “It was great to talk to the DPS regional director and his crew and the border patrol chief. Those guys are doing a great job.”
Landgraf, who voted to fund Operation Lone Star during this year’s Texas Legislature session, said border security will remain as his primary focus in 2022.
Landgraf spoke highly about the efforts that Pfluger, a first-year congressman, is making at the Capitol. Landgraf also talked about the significance of making this border trip with Griffis.
“It was very important for me to be on this trip with Sheriff Griffis, because he and his deputies and local law enforcement across the Permian Basin are having to deal first hand with the problems that are resulting from the failed border policies,” Landgraf said. “Part of the objective here is to make sure that we are making Sheriff Griffis’ and other law enforcement officers’ job easier by having policies that reflect the problems that our country and our state are facing.”
Griffis said he spoke with other law enforcement agencies during the trip and he said they are overwhelmed at some points and he said it’s important for the Biden Administration to lock the border down.
“Law enforcement is doing a great job,” Griffis said. “We just need some federal help to lock the border down. They talked about people from 160 different countries that have been documented coming into our country at the state border and that’s unacceptable.”
When asked about the steps that need to be taken moving forward, Landgraf said that it is important that the $3 billion in funding for Operation Lone Star is allocated correctly.
Operation Lone Star is set to combat the smuggling of people and drugs into Texas, a news release from the Office of the Texas Governor detailed. Operation Lone Star will integrate DPS with the Texas National Guard and deploys air, ground, water and tactical border security assets to high threat areas to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas.
“We learned a great deal of information and we’ve made a big financial commitment in the state of Texas, but for my personal policy we need to be very strategic about the way we are spending this money,” Landgraf said. “I want to make sure we are spending it in a way that maximizes and benefits border security. Seeing the operations first hand (Tuesday) is giving me good information to take back to the state Capitol and putting the taxpayer’s money to the highest use to secure the border.”