AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of Public Safety launched Operation Lone Star on Saturday to focus on smuggling at the southern border of Texas, according to a release from the governor’s office.

Operation Lone Star will send law enforcement personnel and resources to “high threat areas” of the border “to deny Mexican Cartels and other smugglers the ability to move drugs and people into Texas,” the release says.

The decision comes after a February meeting with Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Colonel Steve McCraw about security at the border and what a release said were COVID-19 health concerns. According to the Feb. 9 release, Abbott and McCraw discussed “a recent surge of immigrants at Texas’ southern border and noted that this influx is related to the Biden Administration’s reinstatement of the ‘catch and release’ policy.”

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