- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

“The federal government’s inability to reach consensus on immediate border security legislation or formulate a comprehensive plan of action is putting the lives of Texas citizens at risk. We will not to idly stand by while criminal elements take advantage of this humanitarian crisis. It’s not only our right, but our responsibility to act independently of the federal government in the absence of sufficient action by Washington. I am very confident in the ability of the Texas National Guard to work with the United States Border Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and local law enforcement officials to secure our border, combat crime and protect our citizens.” - Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.


“As the costs associated with securing the border continue to escalate, the House will consider all options to address the Governor’s emergency declaration. Chairman Bonnen and the Committee on the Fiscal Impact of Border Security Operations will continue to monitor these costs and make recommendations in the coming weeks about how best to pay for them.” - Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.


“I applaud Governor Perry for providing the decisive leadership needed to address this crisis. Make no mistake: This is more than a border crisis - this is a national crisis affecting communities and taxpayers across the country. This crisis is a public safety priority, and deploying the National Guard to the border is crucial to address the organized criminal activity by cartels and international gangs. Texas will put boots on the ground to secure the border, but we will expect the federal government to foot the bill.” - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican nominee for governor.


“Last month, I called on Governor Perry to take immediate action to address the growing crisis on the border by convening an emergency legislative session to bolster our overstretched Border Patrol agents, law enforcement personnel and local communities struggling to deal with the influx of individuals crossing our southern border. Unfortunately, while my call for action went unheeded, the need for action remains, given the continued failure by our leaders in Washington to live up to their responsibility to secure our border. If the federal government won’t act, Texas must and will. However, we should be deploying additional deputy sheriffs to the border like local law enforcement is calling for rather than Texas National Guard units who aren’t even authorized to make arrests. Therefore, I reiterate my call for Governor Perry to immediately convene for an emergency legislative session to provide the resources to get additional law enforcement personnel on the ground immediately.” - State Sen. Wendy Davis, Democratic nominee for governor.


“Since the beginning of this humanitarian crisis, elected and law-enforcement officials in the Rio Grande Valley have observed no increase in crime, which is not a surprise. These are children who are running into the arms of the Border Patrol agents. They aren’t sneaking in. They aren’t resisting arrest. They have come to escape the violence and crime in their own countries. Yet Governor Perry insists on needlessly further militarizing our border for what can only be interpreted as a political stunt.” - Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

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