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IPFS News Link • Drug War

Texas Reclaims Island From Mexican Cartels In Fight To Secure Border

•, by J.M. Phelps

The Epoch Times spoke to Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, who identified Fronton Island as possibly "the most violent part" of the Texas–Mexico border. Belonging to Texas, Fronton Island is an island in the Rio Grande River. According to the General Land Office, "Fronton Island has been a hot spot for drug and human trafficking and dangerous cartel activity in the past couple of months."

Ms. Buckingham further described the island as "a law enforcement-free refuge, one where cartels went for refuge when they needed it." On Sept. 7, she issued a letter to the Texas Department of Public Safety, authorizing law enforcement access to the state-owned 170-acre island.

On an island where fully automatic weapons were once being fired regularly at night, as two violent cartels fought over its control, she said, "Law enforcement set foot on the island for the first time on Monday [Oct. 2]."

Ms. Buckingham cannot speak to the details of the operation, but said the island has been reclaimed by an elite force of Texas Rangers. "Clearing the island and taking away [the cartel's] shelter, they are finding caches of weapons and more than I can't speak fully about," she added.

With a Texas flag planted on the island, Ms. Buckingham considers the operation a win against illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and human trafficking—but the scope of the problem exceeds this single region.

"Texas is still getting flooded with illegal immigrants," she said. "We're seeing millions and millions of folks coming across the border."

To put this in perspective, she said, "The New York mayor is complaining about thousands of people coming [into his city], while Eagle Pass [in Texas] expects far more than that." The numbers of migrants Eagle Pass has to brace for is "the equivalent of 2.7 million people illegally coming to New York every week." In addition, she said, "these are not just family units, but a whole lot of young, military-aged males."