Law enforcement leaders along the Texas border with Mexico slammed Gov. Rick Perry’s move Monday to send 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas, saying overwhelmed counties need law enforcement and charitable aid, not militarization.
Perry portrayed his decision as necessary to help U.S. Border Patrol agents overwhelmed by an estimated stream of 60,000 unaccompanied children from Central America. With border security spread thin and distracted, drug cartels and human traffickers might push into a state where their crimes already have taken a toll, he said.
Border sheriffs said spending money to hire more deputies and police makes more sense. Cameron County Sheriff Omar 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. “You just can’t come out here and be a police officer.”