Wednesday, Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) (pictured), Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (R) and Speaker of the House Joe Strauss (R) jointly announced the start of new operations to protect the Texas-Mexico border from illegal immigration.

The lawmakers have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to beef up their presence and law enforcement operations at the Texas-Mexico border.  They say the operation is needed because of the absence of adequate federal resources to secure the border.  The DPS will have up to $1.3 million per week to fund the border security operations.

“Texas can’t afford to wait for Washington to act on this crisis and we will not sit idly by while the safety and security of our citizens are threatened,” Governor Rick Perry said. “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.”

According to the governor's office the DPS surge operations will continue at least through the end of the 2014 calendar year. Reports of the effectiveness of the DPS operation will be made to the governor's office and the legislature.

“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,” Lt. Gov. Dewhurst said. “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, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (USCBP) apprehended more illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in the first eight months of the 2014 fiscal year (over 160,000) than it did for all of fiscal year 2013 (154,453).

“In this current security and humanitarian crisis, the federal government's failure to secure our border is resulting in serious consequences for Texas,” Speaker Straus said. “To immediately address these issues, today I join with Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to direct the Texas Department of Public Safety to use the appropriate resources to keep our state safe.”


Link to the official letter from Perry, Dewhurst & Straus to the head of the Texas DPS: click here (PDF)

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