Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Monday that he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to help manage the surge of child migrants at the state's southern border.
Perry, among the most vocal critics of President Obama's handling of the crisis, said the extra force is needed to deter the wave of immigrants, safeguard Americans from crime and protect taxpayers from the costs of managing the new arrivals.
"I will not stand idly by while our citizens are under assault and little children from Central America are detained in squalor," Perry said at a briefing in Austin. "The price of inaction is too high for Texans to pay."
Perry's move came just hours after the White House announced that the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border is dropping – from 355 per day in June to 150 in early July, according to spokesman Josh Earnest.
Earnest said the reasons for the drop remain unclear, but suggested the administration's efforts "to work with Central American leaders to publicize the dangers of the journey" have contributed significantly.
Perry on Monday acknowledged the drop in the new arrivals in recent weeks, but he offered a different theory for the trend, saying it was a "clear indication" that local, state and federal law enforcement efforts are working.
Democrats have criticized the Republicans' focus on border security, arguing that bolstering enforcement efforts won't remedy a situation where migrants are arriving at the border in hopes of being detained.
"Militarizing our southern border is not the answer to addressing this Central American #RefugeeCrisis," Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichOvernight Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Schneider Electric — Deadly Ida floodwaters grip southeast US David Sirota: Seven Democrats who voted against fracking ban trying to secure future elections Deadly extreme heat has arrived: here's how policymakers can save lives MORE (D-N.M.) tweeted Monday.
Obama has asked Congress to approve $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the border crisis, including $1.8 billion to provide "appropriate care" for the children and $1.1 billion to beef up security at the border.
Republicans have scoffed at the plan, however, with many saying the price tag is too high and others arguing that no emergency funding is needed at all.