Texas officers gain access to Rio Grande’s Fronton Island for border security efforts

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(The Center Square) – Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham has authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers working through Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security mission, Operation Lone Star, access to Fronton Island in the Rio Grande River.

The island is roughly 170 acres and located southeast of Fronton, Texas, in Starr County.

According to Texas General Land Office records, Fronton Island is state-owned land, Buckingham explained, which is why Texas law enforcement has access to it. The island has increasingly been used by cartel scouts, coyotes, and operatives to smuggle illicit drugs and people, law enforcement officials report.

“It is my commitment to Texans to do everything in my power to gain complete operational control of the southern border,” Buckingham said in a statement issued on Thursday. She also did it to protect Texans from foreign nationals illegally entering between ports of entry, she said.

Among the more than 8 million illegal border crossers since January 2021, at least 1.6 million of them are “gotaways,” according to an analysis by The Center Square. Gotaways is the official term used by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to define foreign nationals who illegally enter the U.S. and don’t return to Mexico or Canada. They don’t make immigration or asylum claims and make every effort…

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