Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to announce Monday that he'll send up to 1,000 National Guard members to support the border patrol, according to an internal memo confirmed by Democratic state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa. The Monitor reported that, according to an internal memo, the state will gradually build up the guard force at the border to 1,000 troops to aid Department of Public Safety officials. The activation of the guard — which the memo says is "not a militarization of the border" — will cost about $12 million a month.
Hinojosa called the effort a political ploy, instead of an actual solution. “These are young people, just families coming across," he said. "They're not armed. They're not carrying weapons.”
This announcement comes after weeks of Perry criticizing President Obama's handling of the border crisis. Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied child migrants have been apprehended at the border, spreading resources thin and forcing immigration and border security issues to the forefront. Republicans have called on Obama to defend the border, while the president's request for $3.7 billion from Congress for immigration courts, deportations and housing facilities has been been stalled.
Perry hinted at his plans on Sunday during a trip to Iowa. “If the federal government does not do its constitutional duty to secure the Southern border of the United States, the state of Texas will do it,” Perry said, according to The Washington Post. At the same time he has also complained that Texas has had to foot the bill for guarding the border due to inactivity from the administration. “Texas needs to be reimbursed for the $500 million we’ve spent," Perry said during a House hearing earlier this month. "Secure this border Mr. President.”
This wouldn't be the first time a politician sent the National Guard to the border. As The Washington Post noted, in 2006 President Bush sent 6,000 troops to California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona at the request of the governors of those states. In 2010, New Mexico's Democratic governor Rill Richardson sent troops protect the border, as did President Obama. As for how Texas will pay for this effort, the memo says “it is not clear where the money will come from in the budget," but it's possible the funds will come from "non-critical" areas like health care or transportation.