Governor Perry Pays Visit To El Paso, Requests More Border Troops
POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 - 7:43am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 9:29pm
Governor Rick Perry is asking the federal government to send troops to shore up our border. He made the comments during a trip to El Paso this afternoon. Gov. Perry only spoke for a few minutes at the Chamizal National Memorial.
Gov. Perry said he has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to send resources and "1,000 more troops" to the border in Texas as violence continues to mount in northern Mexico.
When asked to clarify if he was referring to law enforcement or military resources, Perry said, "I really don't care. As along as they are boots on the ground that are properly trained to deal with the border region, I don't care whether they are military troops, or National Guard troops or whether they are customs agents."
Perry, who has repeatedly said the federal government has not done its part to the secure the border, also said Tuesday he hoped to get widespread support from the Texas Legislature for a $135 million request for state-led security efforts.
State homeland security chief Steve McCraw said state efforts, combined with those from the federal government, would focus on violent Mexican drug cartel activities in Texas, including smuggling drugs north and guns and massive amounts of cash south.
Nearly 1,900 people have been killed in Juarez in the ongoing drug cartel war since January 2008.
As Perry, McCraw and former drug czar and retired Army General Barry McCaffrey spoke to reporters, several El Paso police officers stood guard in the sprawling border park, with assault rifles slung over their shoulders.