Governor Perry announced Monday the deployment of up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border.
Perry said “Operation Strong Safety” was to combat criminal activity along the border.
Perry said state funding would pay for the $12 million dollar a month cost, adding he expects the federal government to reimburse the state.
Click below to hear comments from Gov. Perry, Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, Texas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John Nichols, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Operation Strong Safety news conference courtesy of Texas State Networks
News release from the office of Governor Perry:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today directed Texas Adjutant General John Nichols to immediately begin preparations for the deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. These troops will support the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) ongoing law enforcement surge, Operation Strong Safety, which is focused on combatting criminal activity in the region resulting from the federal government’s failure to adequately secure the border.
Since 2008, more than 203,000 criminal aliens have been booked into Texas county jails. Over the course of their criminal careers, these individuals have committed more than 640,000 crimes in the state of Texas alone, including more than 3,000 homicides and nearly 8,000 sexual assaults.
“There can be no national security without border security, and Texans have paid too high a price for the federal government’s failure to secure our border,” Gov. Perry said. “The action I am ordering today will tackle this crisis head-on by multiplying our efforts to combat the cartel activity, human traffickers and individual criminals who threaten the safety of people across Texas and America.”
This deployment builds upon Operation Strong Safety by providing additional personnel that will work seamlessly and side by side with law enforcement officials. It also builds on the National Guard’s existing border presence, which has been utilizing air assets to patrol the region looking for illegal activity.
Texas has already seen results from Operation Strong Safety – from week 1 to week 3 of operations, apprehensions of illegal immigrants have dropped by 36 percent, from more than 6,600 per week to 4,200 per week in the area of operation.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Perry met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. At this meeting, the governor reiterated his request for the president to activate 1,000 Title 32 National Guard troops to temporarily support border security operations until 3,000 additional Border Patrol personnel can be trained and deployed. Unlike the governor’s activation which will be paid for by Texas taxpayer dollars, a Title 32 activation would have provided additional, federally funded personnel to be used at the state’s discretion.