AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Rick Perry directed to the Department of Public Safety to immediately begin a surge of law enforcement operations along the border to “combat the flood of illegal immigration into the state.”
State leaders authorized DPS to fund the extra security efforts at approximately $1.3 million per week.
The move was made because of the lack of adequate federal resources to secure the border, a statement from the offices of Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus said.
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“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,” Gov. 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.”
The U.S. Border Patrol says agents in South Texas have made nearly 160,000 arrests since the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. That surpasses the more than 154,000 it made last year. Many of them are children from places like Guatemala and El Salvador.
The operations handled by DPS will continue at least through the end of the calender year. Law enforcement must also report back monthly to the governor and legislature with results from their enhanced efforts.
A full report from DPS must also be presented during the next legislative session detailing the cost and effectiveness of the operation.
Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott asked the U.S. Homeland Security Department for $30 million so Texas could send more state troopers to the border.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.