Governor Perry today ordered up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley to act as a 'force multiplier' and help deter criminal aliens and gangs from taking advantage of the flood of unaccompanied minors to sneak into Texas, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
"This is about border security," Perry said. "This is to provide the needed assistance to law enforcement along the border."
It is called Operation Strong Safety.
Perry says the Guard will be 'referring and deterring,' and will not act as a police force.
"I have directed Adjutant General John Nichols to immediately prepare for deployment up to 1,000 of his troops in support of the Department of Public Safety's ongoing surge operation," Perry said.
Perry said the goal of the National Guard will be to fill the gaps left by the Border Patrol's new duty of rounding up and processing the Central American children, to make sure gang members, human traffickers, drug cartels, and other criminal immigrants don't sneak into the country to do harm to Texans.
Perry says that is a growing problem.
He says since 2008, 203,000 illegal immigrants have been locked up in Texas county jails for felony offenses.
"Over the course of their criminal careers, these individuals have committed over 640,000 crimes," Perry said.
He says illegals are responsible for 3,000 murders, and 8,000 sexual assaults in Texas.
"There can be no national security without border security, and Texans have paid too high a price for the federal government's failure to secure our border," Perry said.
He and other state officials added that the White House will receive a bill for the nearly $500 million Texans have paid for border security.
Democrats were quick to jump on Perry's plans.
"Local law enforcement, elected officials, and faith and community leaders in the Rio Grande Valley have expressed concerns about militarizing the border, the need for create a short term humanitarian solution, and solving the long term need for comprehensive immigration reform," the Texas Democratic Party said.
"Today, Governor Perry ignored these voices. While those in the Valley are working hard to care for thousands of children in need and demanding we fix our broken immigration system, the governor is continuing his routine of photo-op politics to further his Presidential aspirations."