In a media dispatch yesterday the governor's office announced that Rick Perry, along with David Dewhurst, the Texas Lt. Governor, and Joe Straus, the Lone Star State's Speaker of the House, had directed the Texas Department of Public Safety "...to immediately begin law enforcement surge operations on the Texas-Mexico border to combat the flood of illegal immigration into the state in the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the border. State leaders have authorized DPS to fund border security operations at approximately $1.3 million per week..."
Perry says Texas can't afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis and that we "...will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened...Until the federal government recognizes the danger it's putting our citizens in by its inaction to secure the border, Texas law enforcement must do everything they can to keep our citizens and communities safe..."
The Texas Lt. Governor was no less forceful than Perry. Dewhurst said:
"...The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to secure the border and protect this country from the consequences of illegal immigration, but as Texans we know how to lead in areas where Washington has failed... Last year DPS conducted Operation Strong Safety and achieved astounding results. Crime rates related to drugs, cartels, transnational gangs, and illegal border activity plummeted because of the resources we allocated to stop illegal entry at the border. It's time to make this type of presence on the border permanent..."
According to the Governor's office calculations, The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) has apprehended more illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in the first eight months of the current federal fiscal year (over 160,000) than it did for all of fiscal year 2013 (154,453). In May 2014 alone, USCBP reported apprehending more than 1,100 illegal immigrants per day in the Rio Grande Valley. "...This year, like last year, more than half of the individuals apprehended at the Texas-Mexico border by USCBP are from countries other than Mexico. Additionally, 34,000 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) have been apprehended in Texas so far this year, with estimates that number will reach 90,000 by the end of the fiscal year. By comparison, 28,352 UAC were apprehended in fiscal year 2013..."
In a communique to the Director of the Department of Public Safety, Colonel Steven C. McCraw, Texas officials directed the DPS to plan and execute a surge operation of increased law enforcement in Texas border counties. They said: "...You are authorized to utilize all existing appropriated funds toward this operation...To the extent necessary, we will utilize our authority as governor and as co-chairs of the Legislative Budget Board to facilitate adjustments to the DPS budget until next session. The cost for this operation will need to be addressed by the next legislature in the supplemental appropriations bill..."
The Texas Governor said on Tuesday that the immigration crisis is "... an absolute overflowing mess..." He appeared on Fox News with Sean Hannity telling him that "...there has been some success in shutting down illegal activities with these immigration surges, but the states just don’t have the resources for this situation..."
On Hannity Perry said, "...Number one, it’s not the state’s responsibility to be dealing with this issue. We’re doing our part to make sure we can keep our citizens as safe as we can. But the federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration or they’re in on this somehow..."
The immigration fiasco was described by Arizona Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, also on "Hannity" (on Monday): "...You talk about the Border Patrol, they’re too busy changing diapers and not going after dope peddlers and illegal immigrants,” Arpaio said. “I think the president knew this was going to happen, so it’s going to help him on his executive orders if Congress doesn’t take this mission up. And it might backfire. It might backfire because of the inhumane situation..." That was an echo of a report on "The Kelly File," that reported, "...The crisis at the southern border is worsening by the day, as we heard on The Kelly File that almost half of Border Patrol agents are off patrols because they're need to do paperwork. There are not enough agents to handle the enormous influx of illegal immigrant children that have to be cared for at processing centers..."
CBS quoted Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar from Laredo on June 8, "...if you’re just looking at the lower Rio Grande Valley we’re getting about 1,200 people a day. Over 70 percent of them are not from Mexico but from other places and 300 to 400 of them are young people coming in without parents...Almost 40 percent of the Border Patrol Agents are not at the border they’re actually filling out paperwork, transporting, feeding, moving these folks around..."
Texans are initiating their efforts with the understanding of the magnitude of the problem.
Texas officials told the DPS director: "...Clearly, committing more of your resources will not end the humanitarian issues on the border, nor is it a complete solution to what is ultimately a federal responsibility. But the professional law enforcement resources at the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can reduce crime, ensure the safety of Texas citizens and support the strained resources of local law enforcement and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection..."