(NewsNation) — Some Texas lawyers have come forward saying they believe Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star initiative is unconstitutional, citing the preemption doctrine, according to a report from Texas Monthly.
The doctrine says the implementation of state law is not allowed to interfere with federal law. But as the federal judiciary has shifted, conservatives who represent migrants are wary of bringing any litigation before the highest court.
In the meantime, Operation Lone Star continues as Texas state officials say they are ramping up efforts to combat human smuggling, as there are concerns that a new federal immigration policy could lead to more migrants putting their lives in the hands of criminal organizations.
Operation Lone Star has already made more than 5,000 criminal trespass arrests and has been working to crack down on human smuggling.
Lt. Chris Olivarez reported that hundreds of people have already been apprehended under Operation Lone Star since the start of this new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
In Mission, Texas, Border Patrol DPS thwarted a smuggling attempt on Monday, Olivarez tweeted. They encountered six illegal immigrants from Mexico, and several of them attempted to escape but were eventually apprehended.
In Brewster County, the Texas DPS Aircraft Division encountered eight undocumented individuals dressed in camouflage, Olivarez posted. They were also from Mexico and were trying to hide in the canyon to make it hard for DPS troopers to find them.
In Brooks County, two migrants were killed and 12 were injured in a vehicle crash. Olivarez said that a human smuggler attempted to evade police when the driver lost control and the truck flipped. The driver fled the scene and now Texas DPS is investigating the incident.
With the new Department of Homeland Security announcement stating that illegal Venezuelan migrants would be sent back to Mexico, the agency is adding more resources to combat human smuggling. There are some fears that more migrants will put themselves in the hands of dangerous smugglers and ultimately try to evade law enforcement.
One Venezuelan woman, who crossed illegally into Yuma with her two daughters, told NewsNation’s Ali Bradley that they knew about the new policy, but were already in Mexico and had no other choice but to try to cross over into the U.S. She said her husband crossed a year and a half ago and said she has no idea what she will do if they’re returned to Mexico.
The woman and her daughters did make it through the initial Border Patrol intake and were placed on one of the buses transported to a facility for processing, but it is unclear if they will be able to stay or if they will be returned to Mexico.
Border Patrol agents in the Yuma sector said that they can return 200 people to Mexico each day. But the issue that they’re worried about is that the cartel will catch on and send over bigger groups. So if the cartel sends over 400 Venezuelan migrants, then 200 of them will ultimately get to stay and 200 of them would be returned.
With this in mind, Border Patrol is keeping watch on this possible situation as there are still a lot of questions around the new policy.