AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott asked the Legislature to pass new laws to ease the process of seizing human smuggling stash houses and vehicles. The request comes as Border Patrol agents, State Troopers, and local law enforcement disrupt stash house operations in the Texas-based border sectors.
During an interview with Breitbart Texas, Governor Abbott said he asked the state legislators to pass a bill to streamline the seizure of human smuggling stash houses and vehicles. The request follows increasing efforts under Operation Lone Star to increase rewards for the reporting of stash houses. Under the Texas Stash House Program, Texans can receive up to $5,000 for reporting the locations of stash houses.
Abbott said the stash houses and human smuggling interdictions occur frequently in the Laredo region due to its proximity to Interstate 35.
“Another thing that I want to say is this to me, it’s shocking,” Abbott said during the interview. “Texans are going on to Twitter or Tik Tok or whatever the case may be and seeing advertisements by the cartels offering to pay them money to pick up illegal immigrants and transport them elsewhere in the state of Texas. And that’s a crime. But either it’s not being enforced or the punishment is not serious enough. So, I want mandatory 10 years behind bars for anyone who is caught smuggling somebody in Texas.”
The great temptation created by the cartel money was illustrated by what Abbott called the “astonishing” incident where a Starr County District Attorney’s Office employee was arrested for allegedly smuggling migrants in a state-owned vehicle.
“The agency in charge of prosecuting people for committing that crime and someone to work in that office committed that crime,” the governor said.
Recently, Texas DPS troopers and El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents teamed up to disrupt a human smuggling stash house operation near El Paso, according to a tweet from U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz. The operation led to the apprehension of 48 migrants and the arrest of two caretakers.
El Paso Sector Agents & TX DPS located & disrupted another stash house! 48 migrants, along with 2 caretakers, were taken into custody. We continue to monitor & target these human traffickers who have no care for humanity.
Great work by everyone involved!@USBPChiefEPT pic.twitter.com/PgcpMcOUeW
— Chief Raul Ortiz (@USBPChief) February 28, 2023
Last week, Laredo Sector agents worked with local law enforcement to shut down another human smuggling stash house, Border Patrol officials reported. Agents took 48 migrants into custody.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. 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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