Gov. Rick Perry has visited some of the 1,000 National Guard troops he's ordered to the Texas-Mexico border but says he does not know how long they'll be deployed.
Perry on Wednesday stopped at Camp Swift Army National Guard training center in Bastrop, 30 miles east of Austin. He spoke at a hangar and addressed several hundred troops, but not all will be dispatched to South Texas.
Perry says he believes the military presence will help stop drug gang crimes in Texas and across America.
"I think it's time we stop calling these criminals nice names like cartels and gangs, and call them what they really are," Perry said. "These are narco terrorists, because they are terrorizing America."
The Republican governor, who's eyeing a possible 2016 presidential run, rejected the idea that the deployment was politically motivated.
"What we've seen over the last recent months is that Washington's continual neglect of our southern border is allowing some very aggressive criminals to use that border to penetrate our state, and they don't just stop in Texas," he said.
Perry has called the influx of unaccompanied children pouring illegally onto U.S. soil a side issue in his decision to send in the Guard.