Texas Sends Rangers to Mexican Border

Michael Graczyk, AOL News, September 11, 2009

Special teams of Texas Rangers will be deployed to the Texas-Mexico border to deal with increasing violence because the federal government has failed to address growing problems there, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday. “It is an expansive effort with the Rangers playing a more high-profile role than they’ve ever played before,” Perry said of the Department of Public Safety’s elite investigative unit.

The forces, dubbed “Ranger recon” teams, are the latest effort “to fill the gap that’s been left by the federal government’s ongoing failure to adequately secure our international border with Mexico,” he said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a news conference Thursday on border security. He has asked the federal government to send 1,000 troops to the Mexican border, but the request is being held up by questions about money and logistics.

The governor early this year asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for 1,000 National Guard troops and renewed his call last month in a letter to President Barack Obama. The request is bogged down over who will pay for the troops and how they will be deployed.

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Perry said the effort also would focus on remote areas where farmers and ranchers have complained of being overrun by smugglers and gangs from Mexico in numbers that also overwhelm local law enforcement and border patrol officers.

“Washington is shortchanging them, not giving them the support they need,” Perry said. “As a result, we’re having to dedicate our resources to deal with the challenges we have along the Texas-Mexico border and ensuing issues that porous border has created all across state of Texas.”

He said the state would pick up the tab of $110 million, allocated by the Legislature in the past two sessions.

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