TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Travis County judge ruled Thursday that a man’s arrest at the nation’s southern border last year as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star was in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
A hearing was held Thursday regarding a writ filed by Jesus Alberto Guzman Curipoma.
According to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Curipoma was arrested on the border on Sept. 17, 2021 under Operation Lone Star, which launched last March to address smuggling at the Texas-Mexico border.
Travis County District Judge Soifer ruled in favor of Curipoma at the end of the hearing, the DA’s Office said, and granted him dismissal of his charges for criminal trespass.
“After careful consideration, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office agreed that Mr. Guzman-Curipoma’s prosecution for criminal trespass as part of Operation Lone Star violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and represents an impermissible attempt to intrude on federal immigration policy,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza in a statement. “In addition, DA’s office concluded that based on the evidence, there were multiple ways in which the OLS program has failed to satisfy basic, fundamental, and procedural state and federal constitutional safeguards.”
Just last month, the governor’s office announced another $38 million in funding for Operation Lone Star, which went toward special equipment, travel costs and additional overtime and pay for personnel.
Also last month, questions were raised about the mission after a string of deaths among Texas National Guardsmen who were deployed to the border for Operation Lone Star. The Army Times reported on Dec. 23 four guardsmen died by suicide since the end of October. The Texas Military Department confirmed those four deaths but did not confirm if they were suicides.