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Governor Perry mobilizes 1,000 National Guard troops to protect Texas border

Governor Perry signs executive order sending National Guard to Texas Border

Gov. Rick Perry | CREDIT: Wiki Commons

Gov. Rick Perry | CREDIT: Wiki Commons

AUSTIN , July 22, 2014 – Rick Perry has announced that he is sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas/Mexico border to combat criminals such as the drug cartel who are exploiting a surge of children entering the U.S. illegally. Perry who has been a critic of President Obama’s response to the border crisis. Perry is also mulling a second presidential run come 2016.

He has attacked the notion that Texas was “militarizing” communities by stationing National Guard troops on the ground. Fox News reports that the deployment costs Texas $12 million a month. Texas Adjutant General John Nichols said the troops would simply be deterring immigrants and not detaining.

More than 3,000 Border Patrol agents currently work in the region, and Perry has repeatedly asked Obama to send the National Guard to the border. Much of the area has been overwhelmed in recent months by tens of thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the U.S.

As governor, Perry is commander in chief of Texas military forces unless the White House has already mobilized those forces. However, if Perry deploys National Guard troops it is up to Texas to pay for them, while an order from Obama would mean Washington picks up the tab.

There can be no national security without border security – Gov. Rick Perry

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest responded to Governor Perry’s latest move by saying: “Gov. Perry has referred repeatedly to his desire to make a symbolic statement to the people of Central America that the border is closed,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest. “And he thinks that the best way to do that is to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. It seems to me that a much more powerful symbol would be the bipartisan passage of legislation that would actually make a historic investment in border security and send an additional 20,000 personnel to the border.”

President George W. Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in 2006, and Obama eventually extended that deployment while ordering a second wave of National Guard forces to Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico in 2010. However, the second round saw reduced numbers of troops, and most of their work was limited to air patrols in counter-drug operations.

Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied children and teenagers have entered the U.S. illegally — more than double compared to the same period a year earlier. Most have been from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where rampant gang violence and intense poverty have driven tens of thousands of people outside their borders.

Their numbers overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, leading Perry and the Texas Department of Public Safety to argue that Border Patrol agents distracted by groups of children and families were leaving gaps. Most of those children have been turning themselves in to the first person in a uniform they see.

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