Rick Perry takes military-style tack to protect Texas border from Mexican cartels

Eric Gay/AP - U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Texas Department of Public Safety seize 57 bundles of marijuana weighing more than 1,200 pound at the Texas border along the Rio Grande last June.

From The Washington Post, By ,October 16th, 2011

AUSTIN — A little before dawn on a sticky summer night in June, one of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Ranger Reconnaissance Teams was running a clandestine operation along the Rio Grande when its surveillance squad came across a Dodge Durango pickup truck loaded with bales of Mexican marijuana.

Bad idea, messing with Texas.

 The Texas governor is seeking the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

 Mexico’s ongoing drug war continues to claim lives and disrupt order in the country.

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The lawmen chased the truck along the river, with a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter swooping overhead and Texas game wardens roaring down the Rio Grande in boats, state authorities said. In minutes, the traffickers had ditched the truck in the muddy water and were rafting the dope back to Mexico.

Then the shooting started.

Alone among his Republican rivals running for president, the Texas governor has a small army at his disposal. Over the past three years, he has deployed it along his southern flank in a secretive, military-style campaign that his supporters deem absolutely necessary and successful and that his critics call an overzealous, expensive and mostly ineffective political stunt.

A hawk when it comes to Mexican cartels, Perry said in New Hampshire this month that as president he would consider sending U.S. troops into Mexico to combat drug violence there and stop it from spilling into the United States.

The June incident along the Rio Grande was typical of Perry’s border security campaign: a lot of swagger, with mixed results. The initial news release said the Texas Rangers team came “under heavy fire” by members of the Gulf cartel, though officials later said it was “four to six shots.”

The Texas Rangers and their multi-agency task force, which included U.S. Border Patrol agents, returned fire — big time — lighting up the Mexican riverbank with 300 rounds.

“You shoot a police officer, you’re going to get shot back at,” said Steven McCraw, Perry’s homeland security chief and director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The only reason details of the operation became public — they are usually kept under wraps — was because of the shots fired. The dawn chase along the river resulted in no arrests, no prosecutions and no drugs seized on the U.S. side. Texas officials say three traffickers may have been wounded, but nobody is really sure, because all of them escaped.

Focus on security

Warning that spillover violence by ruthless Mexican drug smuggling gangs threatens Texas — a claim that some leaders along the border say is sensational hogwash — Perry has made border security a centerpiece of his three terms in office, far more than other Southwest governors.

Although Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) pushed ahead with a law that requires police officers, “when practicable,” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, Perry has focused more on drug trafficking, stolen vehicles and criminal gangs than on chasing illegal immigrants.

Since 2008, with the support of the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and more than $400 million in taxpayer funds, Perry has pressed forward on his own version of a surge — called Operation Border Star — paying millions for equipment, weapons and the overtime salaries for sheriff’s deputies and local police to mount operations aimed at drug seizures and gang members.


10 responses

  1. Senator-Blutarsky

    Most likely more of a publicity stunt, since Rick has ignored the border problem since he has been in office. Now its “politically expedient”

    1. “Perry has made border security a centerpiece of his three terms in office, far more than other Southwest governors.”

      Doesn’t sound like a “publicity stunt” to me.

      1. Senator-Blutarsky

        Mark – please enlighten us on exactly what he has done……….talk is always cheap – what has he actually pursued, promoted, and accomplished in this area?


    2. Senator-Blutarsky,

      If the discussion is about this article, and I assume it is, I am pointing to a statement made by the author.

      “Perry has made border security a centerpiece of his three terms in office, far more than other Southwest governors.”

      I think we both made some assumptions that prompted our responses. You may have assumed that he has done less than he actually did and I may have assumed that he has done more than he actually did.

      Regardless of the process we use to form our opinions, we both must solve the same problem, and that is to determine the best available primary election candidate for President.

  2. Senator, in this case you are exactly correct! What part of the border security plan for this state is currently in place to stop illegal imigration? Let’s see, is the fact that ; we no longer are checking citizenship for entry into schools, hospitals no matter how trivial the attention needed, a cold will do, how about public services( food assistance programs), mental health, state services, how about loan guarantees and in state tuition, or is it criminal activity that is rampant along the border. This bust was probably an agreement just handed over by the cartels as a payola for looking the other way on the rest and a good opportunity give good press for continuing our status quo on the border.

  3. ran across this little email not all 100% for Texas but you get the idea

    JOE versus JOSE
    You have two families: “Joe Legal” and “Jose Illegal”. Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California .

    Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

    Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash “under the table”.

    Ready? Now pay attention….

    Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

    Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.0 0 per year.
    Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

    Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

    Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

    Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

    Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

    Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

    Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

    Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

    Jose Illegal says, “We don’t need no stinkin’ insurance!” and still has $31,200.00.

    Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc..

    Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month..

    Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

    Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

    Joe Legal’s and Jose Illegal’s children both attend the same elementary school. Joe Legal pays for his children’s lunches, while Jose Illegal’s children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal’s children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal’s children go home.

    Now, when they reach college age, Joe Legal’s kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though Joe Legal has been paying for State Schools through his taxes, while Jose Illegal’s kids “go to the head of the class” because they are a minority.

    Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

    Do you get it, now?

    If you vote for or support any politician that supports illegal aliens… You are part of the problem!

    We need to make changes ASAP!
    We are destroying ourselves.

  4. Senator-Blutarsky

    Stan – I recently read a lengthy study showing where California gets 1700 new folks a day across the border. As you know , their system is near collapse.

    I would say Texas numbers would be similar, and by the nature of their origin do not show up quickly in any meaningful data.

    A lost decade of somnambulism by the Austin crowd will bring the same consequences to Texas, sadly

  5. I read an article last year about the cost in medical care and services in Texas and pointed it out to yours and my friend King, He acknowledged it and not another word. there has been very little attention given to this situation and yes it has gotten worse. As a small business owner/operator I have seen jobs go to undocumented and unlicensed individuals all the time.

    Phil King says:

    December 9, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Stan –

    I am familiar with the study. Some numbers I’ve seen indicate that if you include state and local numbers it’s as high as around $8.8 Billion. Just right here in Parker County in 2006 Campbell Health Systems alone provided $3.7 million worth of uncompensated healthcare to illegal immigrants.

    What I say is that none of these atrocious numbers make a difference if we don’t secure the border. How do you do that? Boots on the ground – plain and simple. If the federal government won’t give us troops for the border, then Texas must find a way to increase our law enforcement efforts. It’s just like the BP oil spill was – you can’t fix the coast and clean-up until you stop the flow of oil. It’s the same way with immigration. You can’t fix the residual effects of illegal immigration until you stop the flow at the border.

    Additionally, I plan on supporting an Arizona-style piece of legislation this coming legislative session as well as offering some thoughts of my own. I’m currently working on a piece of legislation that would make crossing the border illegally into Texas a criminal trespass violation under state law.

    I hope this helps answer your question. Thank you.

    Have we heatd anything else about this?

  6. Senator-Blutarsky

    Stan……….I got much the same reply, and basically “talk” but no action.

    Thats the Austin crowds way, just like the DC crowd. Seems like our public servants only want to give lip service to the issue, rather than take a 10th Amendment approach and doing one of the few legitimate jobs DC should do, but conveniently refuses to do- secure the borders.

    I bet King & Estes & Perry do not leave their homes unlocked at night, but they leave our borders unlocked

  7. Some of you don’t realize that there has been SCOTUS rulings directly pertaining to K through 12 public education of illegals. Likewise, there are laws that require medical aid be given to anyone showing up at the emergency room that Perry has no control over. I don’t much care to have my tax dollars go to some pregnant 14-year old, citizen or illegal, whose mother brings her to the ER, because she is “spotting” . As far as Perry ignoring the border until recently? That is a lie and all you have to do is a little research to know better. Blame your legislature, especially the worm Joe Straus for Texas still having sanctuary cities. Perry tried to get the Legislature to pass a NO SC law once in regular session and called them back in a special. Both times it had the votes, but the worm made sure it did not pass.

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