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Texas sending 1,000 National Guards on border to protect children and citizens

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, shown in the Texas Senate Chamber, began Operation Strong Safety last month.
Texas Department of Public Safety troopers, shown in the Texas Senate Chamber, began Operation Strong Safety last month.
Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

"You cannot have national security without border security," Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today calling on 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border in what is dubbed as “Operation Strong Safety.”

Rick Perry announces Operation Strong Safety on July 21, 2014 in Austin Texas.
Office of Texas Governor

Saying most Texans are tired of the “lip service” of the Obama Administration and federal government, Perry stated this support will be in addition to the state-funded Department of Public Safety surge established last month.

Perry, joined by other Texas leaders in Austin, said he would “not stand idly by. The price of inaction is too high.”

Since 2008, more than 203,000 criminal aliens have been booked into Texas county jails according to the Governor’s office.

“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,” Perry revealed with the latest facts.

"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."

Attorney General Greg Abbott, praised the Governor for his “decisive leadership” but warned that his office and the State of Texas would expect the federal government to do the right thing and foot the bill for this action. Obama’s refusal to deploy troops or help with the disaster could force Texas to pay for this action. However, Abbott indicated his staff has been working hard with other agencies to prepare for considerable legal action, if necessary to cause the federal government to pay for this essential protection of Texans and aid to the immigrants.

“There are costs to all of this- the humanitarian crisis, healthcare, and law enforcement demands,” Abbott told Briebart news this weekend. “As Attorney General, I am looking into taking legal action against the United States.”

Within 30 days, the National Guard will be joining other law enforcement agencies to help prevent the overwhelming tide of drug smuggling, human trafficking and illegal immigration. The crisis is so bad that other states are starting to feel the pinch of related issues including basic needs like housing, food, first aid and human care. Reports are running rampant that some of the immigrants are being given bus tickets to various locations across the country with no means to follow up or support them.

"The security of this country is being put into jeopardy because of the lack of commitment from the federal government to secure the border," Perry told reporters.

Law enforcement, ranchers, churches, emergency responders and other citizens continue to note the strong increase in crime along the border area, especially in the Rio Grande sector.

Perry is particularly concerned about the cartels and other criminals who are exploiting the crisis where the rate of unaccompanied minors crossing the Texas border from Mexico and Central America has exploded.

“This is a humanitarian crisis,” said Abbott, indicating Texans would “once again lead the way” to aid and help these immigrants.

Perry called on Obama and Congress to add 3,000 more border patrol agents in the 1,200 mile Texas border, while growing protests from California to Texas have vented against the White House’s immigration policies.

In just three weeks of the Texas surge of Department of Public Safety officers deployed, Perry indicates improved results are showing up for Operation Strong Safety.

“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,” the Governor’s office showed.Perry gave Obama two weeks after their meeting to make a decision and act to help the immigrants and American citizens without any substantial action. Once again 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,” the Office of the Governor states.

Even before the recent surge, apprehensions of aliens from countries other than Mexico (including El Salvador, Guatemala, China and Pakistan) as well as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) by U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley increased by more than 200 percent since 2011, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“Increased UAC apprehensions are particularly concerning as these children are at high risk of being forced into prostitution by transnational criminal organizations,” a DPS press release indicated last year. Operation Strong Safety was established a few years ago to help law enforcement deal with the significant increases in Mexican cartel smuggling activity.

“The results of these temporary measures always help us,” one veteran Border Agent told the Examiner. “When DPS ramps up, our patrols can expand along the (Rio Grande) River and crime definitely goes down.”

“We are talking about serious crimes like cartels smuggling people and drugs into our country,” the agent elaborated, indicating the figures from Fall 2013’s three week efforts. “We worked with state, federal and local law enforcement to expand our river, road and air patrols.”

This increased patrol presence resulted in the following activity reported by law enforcement, which compares the three-week operation to the three weeks prior, in Cameron, Hidalgo, Kenedy, Starr and Willacy counties:

49 percent decrease in marijuana seizures

42 percent decrease in cocaine seizures

95 percent decrease in methamphetamine seizures

185 percent increase in U.S. currency seizures

67 percent increase in recovery of stolen vehicles

74 percent decrease in felony pursuits

31 percent decrease in Operation Drawbridge camera detections

Four home invasion suspects arrested

Additionally, according to a survey submitted to 21 landowners representing more than 1.3 million acres in the RGV, the following was reported: 71 percent of landowners, whose property has been used by cartel operatives to smuggle drugs and people, reported significant decreases in smuggling activity during Operation Strong Safety; and 100 percent of landowners supported future similar operations.

The three week operation also offered more protection for Texans by taking 177 unsafe vehicles and 44 unsafe drivers out of service. In that same period 134 commercial vehicle drivers were arrested as smugglers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Area traffic crashes also decreased by 18 percent during the operation as compared to the three weeks prior, while injury crashes decreased by 20 percent and fatality crashes by 25 percent.

“The point is, Texas has learned much from these type of operations and we have the ability to ramp up quick when called upon to conduct more surge operations,” the agent stated.

Santiago Jiminez, from the Harlingen area, along the Rio Grande told the Examiner, “the biggest relief to us is the fears we have for our families and children with regard to home invasions, drug cartel dangers and trespassing on our land.”

Obama, accustomed to signing Executive Orders to bypass Congress, has requested $3.7 billion worth of funding to deal with the border incursion from the lawmakers.

Perry showed the evidence of thousands of acts of crimes and violence that have been perpetrated in Texas by illegal aliens recently, with many of them sneaking back into the U.S. after being deported numerous times. Figures show about half of the boys entering are between the ages of 15 and 17 years of age. Over 62,000 illegal immigrant minors have entered the U.S. since October 2013, compared to 38,000 the entire year of 2013.

“The federal government bears the exclusive responsibility to secure the border – but the feds have failed to live up to it,” Abbott stated. “President Obama’s inconsistent policies and failure to enforce the rule of law have created a heartbreaking humanitarian crisis at the border.”

“Texas will not sit and watch as this crisis consumes our border communities and beyond,” Abbott continued. “The State of Texas will continue its border security operations while pushing for the federal government to fully fund the surge and resources deployed along the Texas-Mexico border.”

“I’m both impressed and proud of DPS law enforcement officials in South Texas working tirelessly to secure the Texas-Mexico border and address this man-made crisis,” specified Abbott. “While the Obama Administration enables transnational gangs and cartels to smuggle people into our state from around the world – including members of deadly gangs like MS-13, the Texas Attorney General’s Office remains committed to working with DPS and local law enforcement officials to keep Texans safe.”

Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst recently revealed that "seven of the 8 major Mexican cartels are using Texas as a staging and a shipment area for trafficking drugs, weapons and people.”

Perry, Dewhurst, Abbott and Speaker Joe Straus have been laying the groundwork to authorize this latest operation in anticipation of Obama not responding. The leaders jointly indicate this surge will not be only against drug and traffic strategies on the border.

“We have to do something about the federal government’s lack of response to this humanitarian and national security crisis,” Straus said.

"They are completely overwhelmed with the tens of thousands of people that are flooding across our border, mainly from Central America, but also from Mexico and other places," said Straus. "They don't have the resources to process everyone and to take care of security concerns along the border."

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