(FiveNation.com)- During the extended Christmas weekend, when most families across the country were spending time with their loved ones and celebrating the holiday, members of the Texas National Guard constructed more than two miles of razor-wire border fencing near El Paso.
Following the declaration of a disaster by the city of El Paso due to the influx of migrants across the border, Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas National Guard to begin construction of the barriers as part of Operation Lone Star.
On Christmas Day, the Texas Military Department tweeted a video showing members of the National Guard constructing a concertina barrier with three strands “to secure the area from illegal crossings.”
The mission that the Guardsmen were to complete in 72 hours was described by Major General Ronald “Win” Burkett.
According to General Burkett, the fences are focused on deterrence and on sending a message that unlawful crossings are not an option.
“You are required to check in at the Port of Entry (POE),“ he said.
The general provided an overview of the operation’s logistics, explaining how the Texas Air National Guard airlifted 400 service members and their respective equipment to El Paso on Saturday morning using four C-130 aircraft.
At four in the morning, the soldiers reported working in El Paso to begin stringing the triple-level wire along the riverbank. According to reporting, the soldiers had completed the construction of more than two miles of the barrier by the morning of Tuesday. The officials from the Texas Military Department told the news outlet that they would construct more in the following days.
According to the Migrant Situational Awareness Dashboard maintained by El Paso, Border Patrol agents handed nearly 6,000 migrants over to non-governmental organizations in the city or released them onto the streets during the past week. The previous week saw the release of more than 10,000 people.
National Guard soldiers have installed additional razor-wire border fending in strategic areas opposite Texas’s border with Mexico.
In some other areas along the border, the state increased the number of locations where it uses shipping containers as part of its border barrier system.