Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) sent a letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) Monday saying his decision to send the National Guard to the border was "rooted in politics" accusing him of misrepresenting the area's safety.
"For too long the border has been used as a boogey man for political gain," Castro wrote in the letter, obtained by the Monitor of McAllen, Texas.
"By sensationalizing the level of crime and violence in our border communities you damage the economic potential of places like McAllen, Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso," he writes.
Castro also went after Perry's tour of the border this month with Fox News host Sean Hannity, in which the two were photographed with a machine gun.
"As the leader of our state, I hope you will set a more positive tone to help resolve this issue," Castro wrote. "I am disappointed that your first instinct was to head down to the Rio Grande to pose by mounted machine guns as if on a trophy hunt."
Perry announced earlier this month that he is sending 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the border and deal with the surge of immigrants that has become a crisis for the Obama administration.
Castro then criticized that decision, prompting a letter from Perry saying Castro had a "basic misunderstanding about the very positive role the Guard will play in tackling the border security crisis."
Both Castro and Perry are high-profile figures seen as having further ambitions. Perry is expected to run for president again in 2016, and Castro has been floated as a possibility for the governor's office down the line.