AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Rick Perry will announce the deployment of as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas border to help stem the tide of immigrants surging into the country illegally, CBS 11 has learned.
Jennifer Saenz, a spokeswoman for Senator Juan Hinojosa, says “top state leadership” informed state lawmakers from the border of the decision.
An internal memo provided to The Monitor newspaper in McAllen said the call-up of National Guard troops would be gradual at a cost of $12 million a month.
No one from the Governor’s office returned our emails on Sunday, but some grassroots conservatives also said they believe Perry will call up the National Guard to go to the border.
It was last Wednesday when Tea Party groups stood at the Capitol and said that the Governor should not wait for the federal government to act, and called on him to send the National Guard to the border. In response, Perry’s spokesman, Travis Considine, issued a statement saying, “The Governor supports authorizing National Guard troops under Title 32, which would activate them for a state missions that is federally funded and allow them to support state border security operations until Border Patrol can hire, train and deploy enough agents to permanently secure our southern border.”
Since October 1 of last year, some 57,000 unaccompanied children fled their homes in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and illegally crossed the border into Texas. That is in addition to the tens of thousands of adults from Central America who have done so during that same time. The vast influx of illegal immigrants have overwhelmed U.S. Border Patrol agents.
During their meeting in Dallas on July 9, Perry asked the President to deploy an additional 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border to enhance border security. The Governor had also asked the President to direct the FAA to allow the National Guard to use Predator drones along the border to keep track of human and drug traffickers. The President has not done so.
Earlier this month, Obama proposed a $3.7 billion emergency supplement that would increase border agents and federal facilities to house the unaccompanied children, and speed up the deportation process in the backlogged immigration courts. But Democrats and Republicans in Congress have not come to an agreement on the measure.
Last month, Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus ordered the Department of Public Safety to spend $1.3 million each week through the end of the year to have troopers conduct surge operations at the border.
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