The surge is in response to a massive increase in the number of illegal immigrants coming across the border into Texas, the majority of whom are women and children from Central America.
“Texas can’t afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis, and we will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened,” Perry said in a statement posted on his official webpage. “Until the federal government recognizes the danger it’s putting our citizens in by its inaction to secure the border, Texas law enforcement must do everything they can to keep our citizens and communities safe.”
The trio of leaders sent a letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw on June 18, in which they pointed out that “The Texas border remains unsecured, threatening the safety of Texas citizens and provoking a humanitarian issue in our border counties.”
The letter acknowledged that while the federal government is responsible for securing the border, the failure of federal officials to fulfill this responsibility has created “an incentive for families to send their children on a dangerous, and sometimes fatal, journey.”
The above reference is to the 60,000 children unaccompanied by parents or relatives who the Obama administration estimates will pour into the United States this year — a figure that is up from about 6,000 in 2011. Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans now make up about 75 percent of illegals caught in South Texas, whereas previously most people who crossed the border illegally originated in Mexico.
Perry and the others stated that “until the federal government fulfills its duty,” Texas will do so.
Noting that last fall, McCraw and the DPS implemented a program called “Operation Strong Safety” — which utilized both technology and manpower to combat criminal activity engaged in by illegal immigrants with connections to the south-of-the-border drug cartels — Perry and the others charged McCraw to continue and implement this successful operation over a wider area.
The state leaders said to McCraw:
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Photo of Texas Gov. Rick Perry: AP Images