Governor Rick Perry To Send National Guard To Secure Border
Speaking today from Austin, Governor Rick Perry detailed what he is calling "Operation Strong Safety", an operation to secure to the Texas/Mexico border, a measure that includes sending nearly 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.
Many thousand unaccompanied minors from Central American have crossed into America through the Rio Grande region, turning themselves over to Boarder Patrol custody, in what is now being deemed a humanitarian crisis. As Texas has been receiving the greatest amount of the immigrant children, Gov. Perry is looking to not only send the National Guard to the border, but also wants President Obama to hire an additional 3,000 Border Patrol agents to replace the National Guard's temporary presence. Gov. Perry said today,
I will not stand idly by. The price of inaction is too high.
A White House representative said that the White House has not yet received the formal request necessary for Gov. Perry to use the National Guard. Perry has the authority to send National Guard troops to the border, but then Texas would be responsible for the cost, as opposed to the Federal Government being financially responsible if Obama makes the call. If the troops are sent to the border under Perry's direction, Texas would be responsible for $12 million per month to cover the costs. President Obama recently requested $3.7 billion in emergency funds to address the immigrant situation, which includes plans to increase border security, but his plan has not received much support.
The Rio Grade sector of the border current has 3,000 agents covering just under 600 miles of land and water, averaging 5.4 agents per mile, compared to the 15.7 agents per mile in the Tucson, AZ sector.
Gov. Perry's motives have been questioned by the Obama administration as many of the immigrant children are not evading Border Patrol agents, but turning themselves over to their custody. Border Sheriff Omar Lucio of Cameron County also questioned Perry's plan, wondering if Perry is using this for political reasons.