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Does Texas' data misrepresent the success of Operation Lone Star?

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A National Guardsman drinks water while sitting atop his Humvee along the border fence near the Rio Grande River in Del Rio,
Ronald W. Erdrich/Abilene Report/USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Co
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A National Guardsman drinks water while sitting atop his Humvee along the border fence near the Rio Grande River in Del Rio, Texas Monday Sept. 20, 2021. More than 10,000 National Guard members have been deployed to the border in Operation Lone Star. (Via OlyDrop)Xxx Delrioborder004 Jpg

Gov. Greg Abbott is betting his reelection on Operation Lone Star — a $3 billion border enforcement effort with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department.

Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 “to combat the ongoing influx of unlawful immigrants," and deployed 10,000 National Guard members to enforce the state-run crackdown along Texas’ southern border.

Abbott has touted the operation as a success — saying it "continues to save lives, take drugs off the streets, [and] apprehend traffickers" — but according to recently published reporting, the data doesn’t back him up.

An investigation into the veracity of Abbott's claims shows how the state is using shifting metrics that misrepresent Operation Lone Star's accomplishments, such as claiming arrests and crimes not connected to the border and work done prior to the start of the operation to boost its numbers.

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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, April 5.

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