Gov. Rick Perry has given the order that 1,000 National Guard troops be moved to the Mexican border in his attempt of sending out a get-tough immigration message. His gesture could better position him in the running for the Republican presidential nomination.
The announcement was made at the Texas Capitol. However, many of those who should have heard the announcement were way, including members of Congress in Washington (especially those who are fighting for President Obama) as well as potential migrants in Central America and presidential caucus Iowan voters.
In recent months there have been tens of thousands of attempts of crossing the Texan-Mexican border by Central Americans trying to flee the violences in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Federal officials have been having difficulties finding emergency shelters for the great number of illegal immigrants (many of which unaccompanied children or teenagers). President Obama called the whole situation a humanitarian crisis and as a result officials have been trying their best to house these immigrants.
Mr. Perry’s actions will have National Guard troops mobilizing at the Texan-Mexican border within the next 30 days, conducting ground and air operations as well as partnering up with local law enforcement officials.
This deployment of the National Guard will come at a price: $12 million a month. This bill will, according to Perry and other Texas Republicans, be sent to the federal government.
Mr. Perry went on to explain his actions. He claims that criminals, human traffickers and drug cartels have been profiting immensely from this tragedy for their own criminal purposes. As a result, he refuses to stand idly by while American citizens are being assaulted and Central American children are being mishandled.
Perry’s actions come as a consequence of the Capitol Hill debate where many lawmakers questioned President Obama’s requests to add $3.7 billion in resources alongside the border. Republicans have argued that Mr. Obama is directly responsible for this crisis and they have also claimed that the presence of the National Guard at the Texan-Mexican border would belong to any legislation they approved.
President Obama was actually repeatedly urged (by House speaker John A. Boehner) to deploy the National Guard to the border as they are uniquely qualified to best manage such humanitarian crises.
Mr. Perry’s actions were also supported by Greg Abbott, state attorney general (and Republican candidate who will be replacing Gov. Perry next year). Abbott appeared with Mr. Perry and affirmed that his office would fight federal government, if need be, to defend the activation of the National Guard.