Skip to main content

Governor Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in March 2021 to respond to a rise in illegal immigration. In May, Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration that now covers 48 counties, mostly counties along or near the border. The declaration directed the Department of Public Safety to “use available resources to enforce all applicable federal and state laws to prevent the criminal activity along the border, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, and to assist Texas counties in their efforts to address those criminal activities.” The following month, the Governor opened Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) facilities for detaining arrested persons under Operation Lone Star.

Protecting the right to counsel, improving public defense in Operation Lone Star

During the second legislative special session (87(2)), the Legislature appropriated funds for Operation Lone Star, including funding for indigent defense. Since Operation Lone Star’s inception, TIDC’s Board has met several times to award grant funding to indigent defense organizations functioning under Operation Lone Star. These grants have included funding for the Lubbock Private Defender Office (LPDO) to serve as the Indigent Defense Hub for Operation Lone Star, as well as funding for myPadilla to provide advisals pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky.

Under Texas Supreme Court Administrative Order 21-9104, the Texas Supreme Court has directed TIDC to develop procedures for Operation Lone Star indigent defense representation. This Order was renewed under Texas Supreme Court Order 21-9123. Those procedures are available here.

Cookie Notice

Find out more about how this website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience.

Back to top