It seems that Governor Rick Perry was less than satisfied with his recent meeting with President Obama. A vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s management of the border crisis, Perry has announced he plans to move 1,000 troops to the Texas border.
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“Drug cartels, human traffickers and individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities,” Mr. Perry said, according to The New York Times. “I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault, and little children from Central America are detained in squalor,” he added.
Currently there are more than 3,000 border patrol agents working in the region. Still, Perry has repeatedly asked President Obama to send reinforcements to the border. The area has recently experienced an influx of tens of thousands of immigrants, and Perry argues that his agents are greatly overwhelmed. Being governor makes Perry commander-in-chief of Texas military forces, and he is well within his rights to move troops around the state as he sees fit.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained, as reported by The Associated Press, “Governor Perry has referred repeatedly to his desire to make a symbolic statement to the people of Central America that the border is closed. 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.” He went on to elaborate that the White House has yet to receive any form of contact with Perry’s office that usually accompanies a move such as this.
Last month Perry declared that an additional $1.3 million would be allocated each week to the Department of Public Safety. He has since written an open letter to the president requesting 1,000 National Guard troops as well as additional helicopter support. He also asked the president to give troops arresting powers to assist border patrol agents further. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett answered Perry in her own letter explaining the president’s plan for the border, but she left out any mention of National Guard implementation.
At this time, border patrol has yet to make a comment. The Monitor newspaper in McAllen, Texas was the first organization to break the story.