Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) plans to announce Monday that he will deploy about 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, a Texas state lawmaker told a South Texas newspaper.
State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, a Democrat, told The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, about Perry’s plan, though he didn’t share any further details. The Monitor said it had also obtained a memo of the plan from another state official’s office.
State officials denied in the memo that the troop surge is a militarization of the border.
Hinojosa told the newspaper that the National Guard doesn’t have the capability to handle the situation at the border.
“They [cartels] are taking advantage of the situation,” he told The Monitor. “But our local law enforcement from the sheriff’s offices of the different counties to the different police departments are taking care of the situation. This is a civil matter, not a military matter. What we need is more resources to hire more deputies, hire more Border Patrol.”
The deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley will cost about $12 million per month, according to the report. Troops are expected to head to the area gradually and will build up to a force of 1,000 after approximately one month.
They will join the Texas Department of Public Safety, which has been involved in the surge of resources responding to human trafficking and the influx of unaccompanied children at the border.
Since October, more than 57,000 children from Central America have crossed into the United States alone.
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, are juggling various proposals for a federal response. President Obama has requested $3.7 billion to fix the crisis, which some Republicans have already rejected. A bipartisan proposal introduced last week would change a 2008 law to make it easier to send children back to Central America.