Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Texas Governor Rick Perry Makes Requests For Additional Troops To Patrol Texas-Mexico Border

Texas Governor Rick Perry hand-delivered a letter to the president in Dallas requesting support from the federal government to help secure Texas' border with Mexico and help curb illegal immigration.  In the letter, Perry referenced drug cartels and the violence that has been reportedly bleeding over the border for sometime.

"Drug cartels and related forces are waging war in Northern Mexico, their tactics including death threats, torture, car bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and beheadings," wrote Perry. "Since 2006, this war has taken 28,000 lives."

Perry then gives a couple examples of why the federal government needs to intervene, trying to personalize the request, and explains that while the president had already announced plans to release 1,200 national guard troops to the border, Texas needs even more troops.  In addition to troops, Perry also asks the president to send "unmanned aerial vehicles to provide real-time surveillance and intelligence" to assist officials with reconnaissance and enforcement.

Perry concludes his plea, stating that "American lives, jobs and safety depend on a more robust federal commitment to border safety and security."

In my honest opinion, it sounds as if Perry just delivered a purely political note attempting to place a ball in the president's court - a ball that the president can't play with. Take Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for example, who had similarly requested additional assistance in dealing with the British Petroleum oil disaster - after getting what he asked for - troops - Jindal didn't deploy the soldiers sent by the federal government.

From an article by Armen Kateyian for CBS News:
Gov. Bobby Jindal's message has been loud and clear, using language such as "We will only be winning this war when we're actually deploying every resource," "They (the federal government) can provide more resources" and "It's clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here."

But nearly two months after the governor requested - and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops - only a fraction - 1,053 - have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill.
Perry will most likely do the same - receive additional support and then fail to utilize the aid while continually attacking the president and/or the administration, and by proxy, the Democrats - Perry is up for reelection and holds a modest lead over Democratic challenger Bill White, and what better way to shore up votes then to exploit an issue that has proven popular with voters, as we have seen with the Arizona immigration reform debacle and the support in harsher immigration enforcement along the border.

Perry's request is also suspicious when considering the House's passage of a $600 million border security bill on Tuesday that would also increase the number of unmanned aerial vehichles deployed to the border, and GOP opposition in the Senate should find it difficult to oppose this bill - it is offset by fees on offshore Indian companies.

Basically, Perry's request is nothing more then a bunch of hot air intended on rallying conservatives in his home state to help give him a pre-election boost.  The administration needs to confront Perry quickly, reinforcing their position by highlighting the benefits of the new border security measure and placing the ball firmly back in Perry's hands by encouraging the state of Texas to enforce it's own borders, after all, how come it is okay when Arizona does it, allbeit wrongly - Perry is trying to avoid the negative press associated with what Arizona had done which could potentially lead to a falling out with the large Texas Hispanic bloc.

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