Texas Gov. Rick Perry is expected to announce plans on Monday to secure the southern border by sending in 1,000 National Guard troops, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
An internal memo listed details regarding the deployment, noting that the total force would gradually build up to 1,000 troops stationed in the Rio Grande Valley. The troops would join alongside the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which has already been on the ground fighting human trafficking and drug smuggling since June.
Groups engaged in trafficking and other activities on the U.S. side of the border have considerably stepped up their operations throughout the entirety of the border crisis, benefiting from the welcome distraction it provides.
According to Democratic state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, the announcement will come at 2 p.m. on Monday in Austin, Texas. Hinojosa disagreed with the decision to send in the National Guard, arguing that “we do not need to militarize the border.”
“All these politicians coming down to border, they don’t care about solving the problem, they just want to make a political point,” Hinojosa continued.
In seeming anticipation of criticisms, the memo stated, “This is not a militarization of the border. The DPS and the National Guard are working to keep any drug and human trafficking south of (U.S. Highway) 83 and with the goal of keeping any smuggling from entering major highways to transport East/West/and North.”
The cost of sending in the troops has been calculated at approximately $5 million dollars per week. Governor Perry’s move comes in the wake of a heated dispute between Texas and the administration, with Perry publicly stating that President Barack Obama seems not to care about border security at all.
“If the federal government does not do its constitutional duty to secure the southern border of the United States, the state of Texas will do it,” Perry said Sunday at an event in Iowa. Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert concurred, adding that governor Perry can even go as far as taking over the whole border.
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