Paxton applauds court decision that ensures Operation Lone Star arrestees face justice

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is giving his support for a recent Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision that he says will help ensure the prosecution of illegal aliens who attempt to enter Texas unlawfully.

Operation Lone Star is a large-scale state program designed to combat illegal immigration and has resulted in thousands of illegal aliens being charged with criminal trespassing in many counties, including Kinney County, Texas.

With the help of the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid activist group, many of these illegal aliens have filed habeas corpus applications seeking to avoid justice for their criminal acts. Rather than filing their applications in Kinney County, however, hundreds of illegal aliens have filed applications in a district court in Travis County where they believe they are more likely to obtain a favorable outcome.  

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has now correctly ruled that the Travis County District Court lacked the jurisdiction to resolve these cases and has issued a writ of prohibition to stop them from doing so.

“The Court of Criminal Appeals has rightly put an end to this thinly-veiled attempt to grant widespread amnesty,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The brave men and women currently serving Texas in Operation Lone Star deserve to know that the illegal aliens they detain and charge will, in fact, be prosecuted. This decision gets us a big step closer in that direction.”

In response, Kinney County Attorney Brent Smith–with assistance from the Office of the Attorney General–petitioned to stop the Travis County court from resolving any more of these cases. 

To read the writ of prohibition issued by the Court of Criminal Appeals, click here.