Operation Lone Star Assailed

Press Releases

September 8, 2022

IRLI shows why case attacking Texas’s protective measures should be dismissed

WASHINGTON—The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Texas federal district court in a case in which illegal aliens are challenging Texas’s policy, in Operation Lone Star, of arresting, trying, and incarcerating illegal border-crossers who have violated state criminal trespass statutes and played havoc with the property and safety of ranchers and other property owners near the border. The aliens claim that their detention under this policy violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that the program violates their rights to equal protection of the laws under the Constitution.

IRLI, in its brief, shows that both claims should be dismissed. First, IRLI shows that the illegal aliens’ detention for the state crime of trespass does not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, both because that protection is only for “the people” of the United States and because jail time for the crime of trespass is called for in a valid state statute.

Second, IRLI shows that the plaintiffs do not even claim that Texas is treating illegal aliens any differently than it treats others guilty of criminal trespass in Texas, much less that any difference in treatment is based on race, ethnicity, or other protected ground. Rather, Texas is responding to a crisis of criminal trespass at the border. In order to make a claim of unequal protection, the plaintiffs at least must allege unequal treatment.

“This case richly deserves to be dismissed,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “The Biden administration’s abdication of its statutory duty to secure the border has created a rash of property crimes in Texas, which Texas has every right to address by enforcing its state laws. If the plaintiffs were right in their claims, not only would illegal aliens have free reign to enter and remain in Texas and the United States, but free reign to commit crimes without consequence. We hope the court sees the glaring injustice of that result, and dismisses this case.”

The case is Barcenas v. McCraw, No. 1:22-cv-00397 (W.D. Tex.).

Get Connected

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date with immigration reform in the United States.

Attorneys United for a Secure America (AUSA) is a non-partisan affiliation of talented attorneys dedicated to pursuing cases that serve the national interest when it comes to immigration law.

If you are interested in joining the network, visit the AUSA website.