In light of increasing bloodshed in northern Mexico, including the deaths of individuals with U.S. consulate ties, Gov. Perry today called on the federal government to take immediate action to prevent spillover violence on U.S. soil.
"Over the weekend, more innocent people fell victim to the increasingly ruthless Mexican drug cartels, including the murder of a pregnant American woman and her American husband in Juarez," Gov. Perry said. "How many Americans will have to die before our federal government takes serious action along the Texas-Mexico border? For years, they have failed in their vital duty to secure the border, resulting in escalating violence along the Texas-Mexico border. The federal government must immediately take steps to increase resources along the border to protect American lives.
"As we express sympathy for the lives lost, we are also dismayed by the brutal and cowardly tactics of the drug cartels, and we will continue supporting President Calderon's efforts to defeat them by committing our own resources here in Texas to amplify border security efforts."
As a result of the increase in violence, the Texas Department of Public Safety has urged all Texas students to avoid traveling to border cities in Mexico during spring break, and extra troopers will be on patrol as a precaution.
Last week, Gov. Perry sent a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting that the federal government utilize Unmanned Aircraft Systems, also known as predator drones, for missions over the Texas-Mexico border. This would provide an additional surveillance element, supplying valuable information to local, state and federal law enforcement along the border. Currently the three predator drones assigned to the southwest border are based in and operating exclusively in Arizona.
Since January 2008, a reported 4,700 homicides have been committed across the border from El Paso in Ciudad Juarez, making it one of the most violent cities in the world.
Since January 2009, Gov. Perry has repeatedly urged the federal government, through letters to President Barack Obama, Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to approve his request for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen to support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border security in Texas. While Washington continues to review this request, more Americans are at risk of falling victim to the increasing violence.
A porous border places Texas and the nation at risk from international terrorists, organized crime cartels and transnational gangs. Until the federal government fulfills its responsibility of securing our border, Texas will continue filling in the gaps by putting more boots on the ground, providing increased law enforcement resources and leveraging technology along the border.
In the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the state's southern border, Gov. Perry launched the state's recent border security enhancement using highly-skilled Ranger Reconnaissance (Ranger Recon) Teams to address the ever evolving threat along the Texas-Mexico border. Additionally, under the governor's leadership, and thanks to action taken by the Legislature, the state has dedicated more than $110 million to border security efforts in each of the last two legislative sessions.
To view Gov. Perry's recent letter to Sec. Napolitano, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/O-NapolitanoJanet20100312.pdf