Gov. Perry Announces Comprehensive Border Security Plan for Texas
Says Protecting Border is Federal Responsibility, but State Cannot Wait for Needed Reform
Today Gov. Rick Perry announced a comprehensive, far-reaching security plan for the Texas Mexico-border region.
"This border security plan will increase the law enforcement presence in the border region, provide new investigative tools, improve communications among law enforcement officials, and make our border region more secure," Perry said. "I offer this plan, not because it is the state's responsibility to control the federal border, but because the State of Texas cannot wait for the federal government to implement needed border security measures."
Perry's Border Security Plan consists of the following six action areas:
* Fully support local law enforcement and Operation Linebacker.
* Reduce violent crime along the border.
* Accelerate radio interoperability.
* Develop a Bi-lateral All-Hazards Response Plan.
* Leverage the expertise and experience of the National Guard to provide training and participate in response exercises.
* Pass legislative reforms, including the expansion of state wiretap authority.
"With more than twelve hundred miles of border shared with Mexico, Texas is clearly at the center of the important debate about how best to secure our border," Perry said. "In this post 9-11 era, there is no such thing as homeland security without border security."
Perry noted that Al Qaeda and other terrorists and criminal organizations view the porous Texas-Mexico border as an opportunity to import terror, illegal narcotics and weapons of mass destruction. Gangs like MS-13 have begun operating on both sides of the Texas border and warring factions of the drug trade have had a dramatic effect on life in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, with confirmed reports of kidnapping, rape and murder on the rise.
"Texas cannot stand idly by when the safety and security of our people is threatened by multi-national criminal syndicates that seek to spread fear and do harm," Perry said. "This border security plan will improve law enforcement coordination, increase our law enforcement presence, and better prepare us to respond to a catastrophe along the border. It will lead to a safer America because it focuses not only on what happens at our ports of entry, but also between them as well."
Perry praised recent federal efforts that provide for 1,000 new border patrol agents and greater investments in technology at crossings, but said that congress must do much more. Perry called on the federal government to hire many more border patrol agents; expand the use of technology at, and between, ports of entry; authorize homeland security funding to pay for law enforcement positions and overtime to expand patrols; designate the entire border region in Texas a high-threat area so border communities have the same eligibility for homeland security funds as our large urban areas; and significantly expand federal detention facilities.