Gov. Perry today issued the following statement following reports of a Mexican helicopter incursion into Texas:
"As violence escalates in Mexican border cities, it's critically important for Texas, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement to communicate and appropriately coordinate our efforts to combat border crime and protect legitimate cross-border trade and travel. Zapata County Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez, Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Border Patrol are working to gather more information about a recently reported helicopter incursion into our airspace, and we hope to soon learn all the facts surrounding this incident.
"The helicopter incursion and uptick in violence in Mexican border communities underscore the urgent need for more U.S. law enforcement and surveillance along the Texas-Mexico border. I once again urge our federal government to add personnel and technology along the Texas-Mexico border to prevent spillover violence here and to combat drug cartels operating in the border region."
Since January 2009, Gov. Perry has repeatedly urged the federal government, through letters to President Barack Obama, Homeland Security 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.
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 latest 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.