Floperation Lone Star isn’t the only 2023 Bum Steer! Read about our Bum Steer of the Year, Austin, and the other runners-up: Gilberto Hinojosa, Herschel Walker, and Louie Gohmert. Also, check out our Best Things in Texas list for examples of some of this year’s uplifting moments.

Number of encounters law enforcement officials had with undocumented migrants at Texas’s southern border:

March 2021:

109, 456

August 2022:


When Governor Greg Abbott launched his oft touted and oft maligned security initiative, Operation Lone Star, the goal was to “stop this revolving door and deter others considering entering illegally.” Eighteen months later, after billions of dollars were allocated toward the effort, including transferring money from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Health and Human Services, and the Department of Family and Protective Services (and after a $14 million busing stunt that moved more than 10,000 migrants from Texas to Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.), the number had risen by more than 7,000, according to the Texas Tribune.

This article originally appeared in the January 2023 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Floperation Lone Star.” Subscribe today.