The state of Texas has become the epicenter of illegal immigration from Central America, and continues to be a prime destination for migrants from Mexico, South America, and other countries around the globe, said Longmire. These cross-border flows of people shift in number and location based on multiple factors, including economic and security conditions in both the U.S. and source countries, real and perceived U.S. immigration policy decisions and changes, and U.S. law enforcement efforts across all parts of the southwest border.

“The primary security threat to the state of Texas continues to emanate from drug smugglers, human smugglers, and illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds — individuals who comprise a minority of the sum of all illegal border crossers. Surges in illegal immigration like the one seen in the late spring and summer of 2014 are a cause for concern for some who envision the possibilities of who can blend into those enormous flows of people. There is also a parallel concern that while U.S. law enforcement agents are focused on the migrants, their eyes are averted from drug smugglers taking advantage of a leniently monitored border.

The Nature and Impact of Illegal Immigration on Security in Texas