If the feds aren’t sending more boots on the ground to police the U.S. border, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is ready to send some of his own.
Dissatisfied with federal immigration enforcement, state leaders on Wednesday tasked the Texas Department of Public Safety with beefing up security along the U.S.-Mexico border, allowing funding for the operations to top $1.3 million per week.
“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.
Perry, a failed 2012 GOP presidential candidate and a possible 2016 contender, has repeatedly chided President Obama over border security, saying Texas does not have the resources on its own to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants streaming into the country.
“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,” Perry said.
The Obama administration acknowledged earlier this month that the U.S. is facing a “humanitarian crisis” with a massive surge of unaccompanied minors who are being caught at the border. The influx adds to an already busy region for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, which is set to outpace the number of arrests made all of last year in just eight months. According to Border Patrol documents obtained by the Associated Press, there was an average of 1,100 arrests made per day in the Rio Grande Valley sector last month.
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus joined Perry in making the announcement Wednesday, authorizing the Texas agency to carry out the operations through the calendar year. Public safety officials are required to “periodically” report the operation results to the governor and the legislature.