The feud between Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Joe Biden Administration continues. The latest installment has Abbott directing National Guard soldiers to operate and maintain airboats in an effort to further secure the Texas-Mexico border. Here’s everything you need to know about Abbott’s ever-expanding Operation Lone Star.

What Are Airboats?

Airboats are flat-bottomed waterborne vessels that are anywhere from 17 to 27 feet long. They feature a fan-like propeller located in the back of the vessel, as opposed to a propeller submerged underwater. Most airboats travel around 35-50 miles per hour, but can be modified to travel up to 135 mph.

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Airboats are commonly used for hunting, fishing, and recreational boating, but they’re known for being extremely loud, dangerous when used improperly, and expensive. If you’ve seen the movie The Waterboy, Adam Sandler’s character arrives at the football stadium in an airboat.

Abbott To Use Airboats At US-Mexico Border

On Saturday (March 9), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott took to his X account to announce a new mission as part of his controversial Operation Lone Star initiative – and it includes the use of airboats to help secure the Texas-Mexico border.

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“Texas National Guard soldiers undergo training to effectively operate and maintain airboats supporting Operation Lone Star along the Texas-Mexico border,” he wrote in his post on X – adding that ‘Texas continues to use every tool and strategy to secure the border.’

How Can Airboats Help Curb The Border Crisis?

Airboats are extremely useful vessels for a variety of reasons. Their lack of an underwater motor means they can travel in waters as shallow as a few inches – meaning they can enter areas other boats can’t. They’re commonly used in swamps and other marshy areas.

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The U.S. Border Patrol already uses airboats to patrol the Rio Grande River Valley, but now the Texas National Guard is adding the vessel to its repertoire. The decision was met with both support and opposition from both sides of the political spectrum.

Operation Lone Star Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary

On March 6, Abbott celebrated the three-year anniversary of Operation Lone Star – a joint operation between the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Military Department. It was launched in 2021 to help secure the Texas-Mexico border.

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On March 8, Abbott boasted about the initiative’s success over the past three years – boasting that it has resulted in more than 503,000 apprehensions, 40,000 criminal arrests, and over 469 million lethal fentanyl doses seized. “Texas will continue to hold the line,” he wrote on X.

Border Wall Construction Continues In Maverick County

On March 9, Abbott criticized Biden for ‘wrongly diverting funds appropriated by Congress that were intended for border walls’ – which Abbott describes as a violation of federal law. The criticism came after a U.S. District Court ruled in favor of border wall construction.

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Abbott took to X the following day to share an update on that construction. “Texas continues border wall construction in Maverick County,” he wrote. “Until President Biden steps up and does his job as Commander-in-Chief, Texas will build border barriers to keep our country safe.”

Supreme Court Blocks Senate Bill 4 (SB 4)

Border walls and airboats aren’t the only thing Abbott has up his sleeve. In December, he signed Senate Bill 4 into law. The legislation would make illegal immigration a Class B misdemeanor – meaning illegal immigrants could face six months (or more) in jail if caught.

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The law has yet to go into effect after being blocked by U.S. District Judge David Ezra, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and (most recently) the U.S. Supreme Court – which has until March 13 to determine if Abbott can enforce the law or not.

Republicans Block Biden’s Bipartisan Immigration Bill

While the federal government blocks Abbott’s attempt at making illegal immigration a punishable offense, Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate are doing whatever they can to stop Biden from making progress in his own fight against the border crisis.

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The $118 billion deal had bipartisan support, but fell short when the House of Reps. revealed that it was dead upon arrival – with many Republicans saying it wasn’t strict enough. The bill would’ve also sent federal aid to Ukraine, Israel, and more.

Biden Calls For Bill To Pass During State Of The Union Address

On March 7, President Joe Biden delivered his annual State of the Union address in front of Republican and Democrat lawmakers. He used the speech to shed light on various issues facing the country right now – including the immigration bill that got blocked by the House.

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“I’m told my predecessor called members of Congress in the Senate to demand they block the bill,” he said – referring to Donald Trump, who called for Republicans to block the bill. Biden urged Congress to ‘send me the border bill now’ – adding that they ‘owe it to the American people.’

Abbott Criticizes Biden’s SOTU Address

That same night, Abbott criticized Biden over his SOTU – describing it as ‘nothing short of a dog and pony show to convince the American people that his Administration is keeping America safe and secure.’ He called Biden a liar for his remarks and vowed to continue his border efforts.

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“Clearly, nationally and in every single state, there’s a number one issue in America, and that’s securing the border. He (Biden) has failed. And he waited 40 minutes to even bring it up. And when he brought it up, he provided no solutions whatsoever, and hardly any empathy whatsoever,” Abbott said in a separate interview.

Texas Seized Shelby Park From Federal Agents In January

To make the Abbott-Biden feud even more complicated, the federal government has repeatedly attempted to stop Abbott from using razor wire as a deterrent. Things got heated in January when Abbott seized control of Shelby Park – a riverfront area in Eagle Pass, TX.

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Since being seized, U.S. Border Patrol agents have been denied access to Shelby Park – resulting in yet another feud between Abbott and Biden – and the Supreme Court eventually got involved.

Supreme Court Says Razor Wire Should Be Removed

On January 22, a 5-4 majority ruling in the Supreme Court gave federal agents the right to remove razor wire installed by Texas as part of Operation Lone Star. They argued that the wire obstructs the government’s ability to process migrants and tend to those in distress.

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The point of having the razor wire is to deter immigrants from crossing the border, but it doesn’t always work as intended. Many immigrants find their way through the wire – though it often results in cuts and injuries.

Abbott Decides To Install More Razor Wire

Despite being told to stop, Abbott continues to install razor wire – even while federal agents remove it. Abbott is arguing that the razor wire is doing the job that Biden is ignoring.

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“For these reasons, I have already declared an invasion under Article I, 10, Clause 3 to invoke Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself. That authority is the supreme law of the land and supersedes any federal statutes to the contrary.”

Abbott Doesn’t Think Biden Will Ever Secure Border

Gov. Greg Abbott isn’t faltering in his opposition to the Biden Administration and will continue to do what he feels is necessary to keep his state safe and secure.

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What that means for the future is unknown – especially with the federal government doing whatever it can to stop Abbott’s efforts. As a result, the border crisis is the No. 1 issue facing voters right now – and will play a large role in November’s general election.