Numbers are always interesting in the Lone Star State, now on the front lines of its own border crisis. And it’s cost the state plenty in money, time and manpower.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has already spent $500 million trying to maintain order and security in the Rio Grand Valley. He’s ordered Texas Adjutant General John Nichols to deploy up to 1,000 National Guard troops on the borderlands.
Now Mr. Perry reveals a few more numbers.
The governor himself reports that in the past six years, Texas county jails have incarcerated 203,000 “criminal aliens” who have committed 640,000 crimes, including over 3,000 homicides. Such statistics may silence critics who accuse Mr. Perry of politicizing the border crisis to bolster his profile for a presidential run in 2016.
“There can be no national security without border security, and Texans have paid too high a price for the federal government’s failure to secure our border,” Mr. Perry says. “The action I am ordering today will tackle this crisis head-on by multiplying our efforts to combat the cartel activity, human traffickers and individual criminals who threaten the safety of people across Texas and America.”
Some powerful folks agree that the border issue is serious indeed.
SEE ALSO: House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, recently told Defense One, Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sides with the top officer, who is tasked with protecting the southern border of the U.S.
“He absolutely shares that concern,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.