TEXAS GOVERNOR MOVES ON BORDER VIOLENCE
Texas Governor Rick Perry, reports today's edition of the Houston Chronicle, declared yesterday that "Texans must combat escalating crime and drug violence along the Mexican border."
Toward that end, the Republican governor "announced 'Operation Rio Grande' to ramp up law enforcement from El Paso to Brownsville."
Writes the Chronicle's Polly Ross Hughes:
The governor also placed the State Operations Center on highest alert, meaning members of four state agencies will work around the clock supporting the new operation. The emergency status is typically reserved for natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Perry declined to reveal the cost of Operation Rio Grande or how many extra law enforcement officers it deploys to the border.
The new initiative follows his December announcement of $10 million in state aid for "Operation Linebacker," which lets local law enforcement provide greater support to U.S. border officers.
While stating that the federal government remains responsible for enforcing the sovereignty of the border, Perry said he felt compelled to act as well.
Such action, of course, is not unique to Texas. Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona has moved National Guard troops to the border in an effort to curb the flow of illegal immigrants ravaging her state's resources.
Texas' taxpayers should be mindful that the state was already expending $4.7+ million annually owing to illegal immigration before Governor Perry's announcement. Arizona, a far less populated state than Texas, nonetheless spends $1.3+ billion a year owing to the impact of illegal border-jumpers. (Californians, as information, have to cough up a whopping $10.5+ billion annually because of porous borders and lackluster federal enforcement).
It is the federal government's responsibility to enforce the sovereignty of America's borders, of course, but the Bush administration and its Department of Homeland Security have been asleep at the wheel (as was the Clinton administration before it) throughout Geroge Bush's tenure in the White House and the upshot is that anywhere from 12 - 20 million illegal aliens reside in the United States -- all here illegally, lawbreakers one and all.
That's why DHS Chief Michael Chertoff is being more than disingenuous in saying (according to the Houston Chronicle's story):
"To the extent we are giving money to states or letting states use Homeland Security money, we are welcoming their assistance but it has to come within the framework of a common strategy, a common picture," Chertoff said. "We don't want to have two different groups of law enforcement folks operating in an uncoordinated fashion."
What unadulterated crap! What "common strategy," Mr. Chertoff? Are you referring to the cheap labor "Welcome Mat" that the president has placed along the contiguous border with Mexico to placate the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Big Labor?
FOLLOW-UP (02/11/06): Matt Drudge links today to this NYT's piece on border violence.