Texas National Guard member shoots at migrant near Rio Grande

There has been another incident at the border. This time, a Texas National Guard soldier fired shots at a migrant near the Rio Grande. 

Political analyst Ed Espinosa and Matt Mackowiak, the chair of the Travis County Republican Party, joined FOX 7 Austin's Mike Warren to discuss.


MIKE WARREN: Ed Espinoza, this is the second time that a Texas National Guard member has shot a civilian while deployed for Operation Lone Star. It's the third known time a soldier has fired their weapon while on duty at the border. Should this be a tipping point to end Operation Lone Star?

ED ESPINOZA: Well, I don't know if it's a tipping point to end it, but it's definitely an inflection point to show the risks when a state agency takes on something that is federal jurisdiction. This is international relations we're talking about here. This is a state basically declaring an act of war on the citizens of another country. That is akin to something we might have seen in East Germany or North Korea. There are ways to handle immigration and there are ways to handle border crossings. And we are trying to do those things together with the state and at the national level, firing an armed weapon into the other side to disarm. So to disable somebody is not the right way to do it. There's a reason these things don't happen commonly. And look, border crossings are down in the last three months. Things we're doing is working to stem the tide. Shooting people is not one of those things. 

MIKE WARREN: Matt Mackoiwak, what do you make of this latest incident?

MATT MACKOWIAK: Yeah, it needs to be investigated. And if there was no cause for it, there needs to be a punishment. It's a very rare type of incident. It's important to remember exactly what's at stake here. Governor Abbott had a guest column in the New York Post this morning. I want to make sure I get these stats corrected. Correct. Just since the Operation Lone Stars were launched in March 2021, that operation has apprehended more than 400,000 illegal immigrants, arrested more than 32,000 criminals, and seized more than 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl. I've got news for you, Ed. Mexico declared war on Texas years ago by allowing criminal gangs to serve as coyotes, bringing in illegal immigrants and illegal drugs into our country. Texas shouldn't have to be providing this effort, but the federal government and the Biden administration are refusing to do so. And it is having dramatic consequences, drastic consequences for Texas communities, for border communities, and for our entire state and our country.

MIKE WARREN: Ed, if there was no Operation Lone Star, what would border enforcement look like in this state?

ED ESPINOZA: Well, I don't know the exact answer to that. What I do know is that since Title 42 was lifted in May, that asylum cases have dropped by more than half. And because of that, illegal border crossings have dropped by more than half. They dropped by 70% because people at the border know that there are felony prosecution penalties for doing this, and they don't want to face that. It's working. Border crossings were at 10,000 a day. They're now at 3500 a day. Cases for asylum used to be processed at 83%. Now they're processed at 46%. These things are working. And by the way, Matt. Mexico hasn't declared war on the U.S., But I would be very clear, I would caution you to be very careful with that kind of language, because that's the kind of thing that persists in mass shootings in this country. And most of the people crossing the border, not from Mexico, they're from many other places around the world that are suffering right now. 

MIKE WARREN: Okay, Matt, I got to wrap it up. Last word here.

MATT MACKOWIAK: They're crossing from the Mexican side of the border. Mexico has zero interest in border security. They get remittances back from people who enter from Mexico into the United States. They have refused almost every serious border security effort that the United States put in place when Trump was in office. So I don't know. I mean, if 422 million lethal doses of fentanyl are pouring into the country from Mexico, what would you call that if that was not declaring war on our communities and on our citizens?