Gov. Rick Perry to Deploy National Guard to Border

[Content Note: Anti-immigrationism; racism; militarization.]

Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced that he is sending National Guard troops to the US border to stop the inflow of undocumented immigrants, including a large number of children:
The governor's office confirmed this morning that Rick Perry will order 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas border to beef up patrols in South Texas.

...Perry called the troops a "force multiplier" that would help DPS and other law enforcement officials deal with criminal activity by those entering the country illegally.

The guard troops will be embedded with state troopers and other law enforcement because they cannot legally detain someone on their own authority.

...He gave no indication where the funding for the operation would come from, instead saying that he hoped the federal government would eventually reimburse the state for the $12 million monthly cost of calling up the Guard.
Perry says he refuses to "stand idly by while American citizens are attacked" and that "the price of inaction is too high for Texans to pay," but this hyperbole doesn't reflect what's actually happening, which is a "small uptick in crime along the border."

The local law enforcement tasked with navigating crime along the border does not share Perry's alarm:
But sheriffs along the border said they have not been consulted and question the wisdom of sending military personnel who are not authorized to stop, question or arrest anyone.

"At this time, a lot of people do things for political reasons. I don't know that it helps," said Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.

Lucio said deputies, police and the U.S. Border Patrol work well together and that they have been able to handle the small uptick in crime along the border.

"I don't know what good they can do," Lucio said of military personnel. "I need people who I can hire who know the community, the language and who can help."

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra also told the McAllen Monitor that the Guard troops can't make arrests and he didn't know what their objective would be.

"The National Guard — they're trained in warfare; they're not trained in law enforcement,” he said. "I need to find out what their actual role is going to be, but I think the money would be better spent giving local law enforcement more funds."

..."You just can't come out here and be a police officer," Lucio said, adding that he is concerned at the move to militarize the border.

"Eventually, they might get into trouble," he said of the Guard. "They're trained for different things."
Emphases mine.

This is political posturing, and it will come at the expense of people's safety and lives.

Imagine how many people "who know the community, the language and who can help" could be hired for $12 million monthly. So many people! Imagine if Governor Rick Perry actually listened to the people who are on the ground, and gave them the funding they need to better do the jobs they know best how to do.

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