Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Governor's Initiatives - Border Security

Related Content


August 9, 2010 - Gov. Perry on his letter to President Obama and the present state of border security.

Gov. Perry's Letter to President Obama
August 9, 2010 - Governor Rick Perry's Letter to President Obama   View Letter »

Gov. Perry's Letter to President Obama
February 26, 2009 - Governor Rick Perry's Letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano concerning the transport of illegal aliens to Texas   View Letter »


September 11, 2009 - Colonel Steve McCraw, Director, TX Dept. of Public Safety on the Ranger Recon operation.


June 3, 2009 - Harold L. Hurtt - Houston Police Chief

There can be no homeland security without border security, and there can be no higher priority than protecting our citizens.

While our focus begins with preventing the worst of the violence currently raging in northern Mexico from spilling over into the United States, the violence is only part of the destruction that can result from a porous border. The free flow of drugs, weapons and people resulting from inadequate security can undercut economic development, education and trade. As such, they can hurt Texas families in every way imaginable, from loss of jobs to the loss of family members to addiction, imprisonment or death.

Border security is a federal responsibility but a Texas problem, and Texas has invested hundreds of millions of state dollars in efforts to support and supplement security forces already in place. Still, this is a problem that will only be solved with more federal accountability and involvement.

Action Items

»  Starting in 2005 with Operation Linebacker, the state has sought to provide funding, manpower and equipment to local law enforcement agencies operating along the Texas-Mexico border.
»  In 2007 Operation Border Star was introduced, which builds on the successes of previous operations with unprecedented local, state and federal law enforcement coordination. With the assistance of the 80th and 81st Legislatures, the State of Texas has been able to appropriate more than $110 million each session to fund and amplify these efforts.
»  In response to a rising tide of gang violence in Texas communities, the Governor allocated $4 million in criminal justice grants to cities across the state to increase patrols of gang hotspots. In 2009, Gov. Perry worked to secure more than $10 million in state funding for enhanced anti-gang efforts during the 2010-11 biennium.
»  In September 2009, Gov. Perry announced the formation of highly-skilled Ranger Recon Teams — which include Texas Rangers, Texas National Guard Counterdrug forces, Highway Patrol and DPS Aviation assets — in order to address threats building in the unincorporated areas along the Texas-Mexico border.
»  Since early 2009, Gov. Perry has repeatedly called on Washington to authorize the deployment of 1,000 Title 32 National Guard soldiers to the Texas-Mexico border to support border security operations currently underway. (see letter to President Obama, letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and request to Defense Secretary Gates)
»  Gov. Perry has also recommended an expeditious deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles to provide real-time surveillance and intelligence to law enforcement on the ground.
»  In 2011, Governor Perry again worked with the Texas Legislature to increase funding for border security. These efforts allowed for the implementation of Operation Drawbridge, which utilizes portable cameras that detect movement and transmit the captured images to multiple receivers. As of 2012, Operation Drawbridge has yielded 13,606 detections, 5,526 apprehensions, and over 13 tons of narcotics seized. These 2011 efforts also resulted in the addition of six 34-foot shallow water interceptors to patrol the Texas-Mexico border.

News & Announcements

  • Tuesday, May 11, 2010 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Releases Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015
    Gov. Rick Perry has released the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan 2010-2015, a strategic plan that will guide the state’s preparation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts for all types of threats over the next five years. The plan serves as a high-level roadmap to allow for adaption to evolving situations in an ever-changing threat environment.
  • Thursday, April 29, 2010 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on Immigration and Border Security
    Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding border security, the recent debate over immigration policy in Washington and what has been implemented in Arizona:
  • Thursday, April 01, 2010 • Austin, Texas • Editorial
    The Border: Texas Steps Up Where Washington Falls Down
    During a time when Washington seems more determined than ever to inject itself into the day-to-day lives of everyone in the country, border security is one area – a legitimate federal responsibility – where the federal government has demonstrated a decided lack of urgency. For Texans, border security is not, and never has been, a mere rhetorical exercise. It has a direct and tangible impact on the lives of everyone who lives in the Lone Star State, as well as grave homeland security implications, which is why – over the past several years – we have given up waiting for Washington and done it ourselves.
  • Thursday, March 18, 2010 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Announces Deployment of Texas Military Forces Helicopters To Support Border Security Efforts

    On June 22, 2009, Sgt. Navarro and TFO Escobar used the helicopter’s FLIR to locate an aggravated-kidnapping suspect and a young child who had been kidnapped in Hidalgo County. The suspect was holding the child at knifepoint. Using FLIR, the helicopter crew pinpointed the suspect’s location after a lengthy unsuccessful search by ground agents. The aircrew then used the helicopter’s spotlight, also known as NightSun, to show ground units where to go to take the suspect into custody.
    Gov. Perry today announced the deployment of Texas Military Forces OH-58 Kiowa and UH-72 Lakota helicopters as part of the first phase of the state’s spillover violence contingency plan, which he activated on Tuesday. These aviation assets, which will help local law enforcement deter and detect crime along the border, will operate between Brownsville and El Paso, however the number and exact location will not be disclosed for operational security purposes.
  • Tuesday, March 16, 2010 • Austin, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Orders Activation of First Phase Of Texas Spillover Violence Contingency Plan
    Following the recent escalation of murders in northern Mexico and the increasing threat of violence crossing over into neighboring border communities in Texas, Gov. Perry today ordered the activation of the first phase of the state’s spillover violence contingency plan. The state’s plan is law enforcement sensitive and will not be released to the public for operational security purposes.