(San Antonio, Texas)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has launched a travel advisory map with the goal of protecting all Texans by showing which counties have implemented anti-immigrant policies and actions, particularly under Gov. Greg Abbott’s unconstitutional and racist Operation Lone Star (OLS).
“Unfortunately Texas has become a state with a strong pro-incarceration and anti-immigrant stance. Immigrants and people of color face varying degrees of danger when they travel throughout the state,” said Senior Texas Strategist Carolina Canizales. “This map aims to educate all Texans on the harms that have been put into place by local and state lawmakers who are embracing a statewide template of hate.”
Since Gov. Abbott implemented OLS in March 2021, this scheme has dramatically increased the state infrastructure to criminalize and deport people in Texas. As of December 2023, at least 57 counties are complicit with this operation, which has resulted in the criminalization of more than 10,000 asylum seekers, border residents, and long-term immigrant residents in the state. Even U.S. citizens have been charged with smuggling under OLS. Also, two processing centers and three jails in Texas are exclusively dedicated to incarcerating people arrested under OLS.
“If left unchecked and unchallenged, Gov. Abbott will no doubt expand OLS and even other states may replicate his model of cruelty,” Canizales said. “Texas is a rogue state and must be held accountable. Gov. Abbott and the Department of Public Safety act like the rules don’t apply to them, and border communities pay the price.”
“We hope this travel advisory map helps people navigate the dangers of hateful local policies in Texas, and we want all Texans to be protected as they go about their everyday lives,” Canizales said. “The federal government’s silence and unwillingness to intervene is a troubling sign that this administration is giving up on its promise to make the immigration system compassionate and humane.”
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.