Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus have authorized the Texas Department of Public Safety to immediately begin law enforcement surge operations along the Texas-Mexico border. The three state leaders sent a joint letter to DPS Director Steve McCraw Wednesday evening calling for the surge to combat the recent flood of illegal immigrant children and families across the Texas border. The operation will continue at least through the end of the year, and cost the state approximately $1.3 million per week.
All three leaders issued strongly worded statements with the announcement. "Texas can't afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis and we will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened," said Gov. Perry.
"The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to secure the border...but as Texans we know how to lead in areas where Washington has failed," said Dewhurst.
"In this current security and humanitarian crisis, the federal government's failure to secure our border is resulting in serious consequences for Texas," said Straus.
The U.S. Border Patrol has already reported apprehensions of more illegal immigrants on the Texas border this fiscal year than in the entire previous fiscal year. That includes some 34,000 unaccompanied alien children, on a pace to reach 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year. A similar Texas border surge operation carried out last year, called Operation Strong Safety, resulted in a sharp decline in violence, drug smuggling and human trafficking in the border region.
Watch Governor Perry discuss the Texas border situation with KTRH's Sean Hannity: