EXCLUSIVE: Texas Begins Jailing Female Migrants Arrested at Border on State Crimes

Texas Department of Criminal Justice will now detain migrants arrested near the border under Operation Lone Star. (Texas Department of Public Safety)
Texas Department of Public Safety

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is now detaining female migrants arrested along the border on state crimes. The new policy expands the existing policies of arresting male migrants for state crimes under Governor Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star.

“Beginning today, TDCJ is accepting female migrants arrested by Texas law enforcement officers along the border,” TDCJ Director of Communications Amanda Hernandez told Breitbart Texas on Wednesday.”The females will be held in the Lopez Unit in Edinburg.”

Hernandez explained this is a continuation of the department’s role in the Operation Lone Star border security mission. She said the expansion of the program will now allow state and local law enforcement to arrest female migrants that are committing crimes like criminal trespass and other state crimes after illegally crossing the border from Mexico.

In an interview with Breitbart Texas in June 2021, the governor detailed plans to build state-funded border barriers and to arrest migrants committing crimes that include criminal mischief, vandalism of state property or local government property, and criminal trespass.

n addition, the recent declaration of a State of Emergency by the State of Texas causes the penalties for these crimes to increase by one level.

“That means up to 180 days in jail,” Governor Abbott said during the interview. “Something that may be a Class B misdemeanor right now, turned into a class A misdemeanor. And so they can get into a lot of trouble.”


Since the governor declared a state of disaster along the border in May 2021, the TDCJ has received more than 11,000 male migrants arrested on state crimes. The department is currently detaining 922 migrants at the Briscoe and Segovia Units.

When migrants are arrested in the 14 participating border counties, state or local law enforcement authorities transport the migrants to one of two DPS-funded migrant processing centers, Hernandez explained. TDCJ then transports the migrants to their facilities for holding pending prosecution.

Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Lieutenant Chris Olivarez told Breitbart that because of the large number of arrests in Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, TDCJ guards and buses are on hand to take migrants directly to the processing centers.

The female migrants arrested will now be transported to the Lopez Unit in Edinburg, Hernandez said. The Lopez Unit is currently a male facility.
“One building that is separate from the other buildings has been cleared and will hold the female migrants,” Hernandez explained. “We have the ability to hold up to 200 females from local counties.”

The TDCJ began participating in Operation Lone Star in July 2021 to provide relief to counties overwhelmed by the number of migrants being arrested.

“TDCJ has the legal authority to detain persons arrested pursuant to Operation Lone Star from Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration and requests from local Sherriff Officers,” Hernandez said. ‘The passing of House Bill 9 in 2021 provided supplemental funding for TDCJ for increased corrections costs related to border security.”

Bob Price is the Breitbart Texas-Border team’s associate editor and senior news contributor. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.


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