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

  • Monday, February 15, 2010 • San Antonio, Texas • Press Release
    Gov. Perry: First Responder Community Making Texas Better Place to Live
    Gov. Rick Perry today praised the brave men and women of law enforcement, emergency responders, volunteer organizations, Texas Military Forces and the continued coordination between state, local and federal agencies for preparing and protecting Texans from all natural and man-made threats to our state. The governor spoke at the annual Texas Homeland Security Conference, where he also announced an award of more than $1.7 million to fund a border prosecution unit to amplify the state’s border security efforts.
  • Wednesday, February 03, 2010 • Press Release
    Gov. Perry: Innovation and Cooperation are Essential Elements to Keeping Our Citizens Safe
    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the importance of maintaining a secure border and continued coordination between all levels of law enforcement in order to keep both Texas and the nation safe. The governor spoke at the Major Cities Chiefs Association Conference.
  • Friday, December 11, 2009 • Press Release
    Gov. Perry: Washington Continues to Shortchange Texans and Americans
    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today blasted the federal government for slashing funding from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which helps states cover the costs of incarcerating illegal aliens who have committed crimes in the U.S. The omnibus appropriations bill currently moving through Congress increases overall spending by $6.8 billion, or 11.7 percent over last year, while reducing SCAAP funding by $70 million or 17.5 percent from last year’s level. A final Senate vote is expected as early as this weekend.
  • Saturday, October 31, 2009 • Press Release
    Gov. Perry Urges Federal Government to Stop Illegal Alien Transport Through Texas
    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging the federal government to stop its plans to transport illegal aliens from other states into Texas solely for the purpose of deportation. The Alien Transfer and Exit Program (ATEP), which is scheduled to begin tomorrow, would transport more than 34,000 illegal aliens per year through Presidio.
  • Friday, October 02, 2009 • Speech
    Governor Perry Addresses Law Enforcement
    "I want to start by congratulating the recipients of these valor awards. It takes an above-average measure of courage to even be in law enforcement. You award winners have definitely gone above and beyond the call of duty in making Texas safe. I want to thank you all for having me here today, but, more importantly I want to thank you all for your sacrifices in the cause of maintaining order in our state.Chris [McGill, President, CLEAT] I want to commend you and your team for standing up for our men and women in law enforcement. Your folks have their hands more than full, as they manage the challenges of a job that gets tougher every day. "