Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on Monday ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, seizing on a get-tough immigration message that foreshadows the approach to the current crisis by his party in Congress and that could position him in another bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
Mr. Perry announced the move at the Texas Capitol, but many of the intended recipients were far away from here: members of Congress in Washington, including those who are fighting with President Obama; potential migrants in Central America who are contemplating a dangerous journey to the United States; and presidential caucus voters in Iowa, where Mr. Perry visited again over the weekend.
Tens of thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have tried to cross Texas’ 1,200-mile border with Mexico in recent months. The influx of immigrants entering the country illegally, many of them unaccompanied children and teenagers, has left federal officials scrambling to find emergency shelters to house them and to manage what President Obama has called a humanitarian crisis.
Mr. Perry and other state officials said Monday that the National Guard would begin mobilizing throughout the next 30 days, conduct ground and air operations once at the border, and partner with local and state law enforcement officials, acting as a so-called force multiplier.
He said criminal organizations were benefiting from the diversion of resources to deal with the wave of Central American immigration, and so more security was needed. The cost of deploying the National Guard was estimated at $12 million a month, a bill that he and other Texas Republicans vowed to send to the federal government.
SOURCE: MANNY FERNANDEZ and MICHAEL D. SHEAR
The New York Times