Texas Governor To Deploy National Guard To Border

By Mónica Ortiz Uribe
July 21, 2014
Mónica Ortiz Uribe
Border Patrol agents make an arrest near the border outside Hidalgo, Texas.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday he will order 1,000 National Guard troops to the combat crime along the border. He said preparations will begin immediately.

In an afternoon press conference, Perry said the troops will act as a "force multiplier" by helping local law enforcement combat criminal acts by Mexican drug cartels in the south Texas border area.

Their goal will be to target cases of human trafficking, cash and weapons smuggling, burglary and murder at a cost of $12 million per month. The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers already play a similar role along the border.

Perry's order comes during a surge of Central American children crossing the south Texas border illegally, which has overwhelmed the Border Patrol. 

"Drug cartels, human traffickers, individual criminals are exploiting this tragedy for their own criminal opportunities," Perry said. 

Some border officials say the governor's move is unnecessary. The mayor and police chief of McAllen, a city located on the southern Texas border, told Congress this month the crime rate is not rising.

State Sen. Juan Hinojosa told The Monitor newspaper that state money would be better spent hiring more sheriff deputies.