Rick Perry Asks Obama for More Border Troops
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) hand-delivered a letter to President Barack Obama today requesting 1,000 additional troops to the Texas-Mexico border. Obama deployed 1,200 National Guard troops to states bordering Mexico on Aug. 1, but only 250 were sent to Texas. In the full letter, Perry called the National Guard deployment “clearly insufficient.”
He also echoed other Republican politicians who have argued border enforcement will be necessary before Congress can take up comprehensive immigration reform:
America cannot have a rational discussion of immigration reform without real, effective border security. The federal government must step up and finally do what is needed to secure our borders.
Perry’s criticisms aren’t new: He called the deployment “grossly insufficient” last month. His letter today focused on the administration’s efforts at increasing border security, but does not mention House and Senate bills passed in the past two weeks that would fund increases to border patrol. Still, his letter gives credence to opinions from immigration rights advocates that the Senate action on border security won’t kill the “secure the border first” argument against comprehensive reform.