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

  • Friday, February 08, 2008 • McAllen, Texas • Speech
    Securing Our Border
    "The border is a favorite topic for the talking heads on TV and radio, sitting in their studios far from where we stand today. To them, the border is a line on a piece of paper that is easily recognized with foes that are easily recognized and challenges that are easily solved. They are wrong—because the complexities of this area are significant."
  • Friday, January 11, 2008 • Austin, Texas • Editorial
    Texas Securing Our Nation's Border
    During election seasons Washington politicians give us a lot of rhetoric on border security, but -- as they continue to demonstrate -- no real solutions. Yet while the Washington DC politicians continue to wags their tongue about ways to secure our border, Texas has been and will continue to partner with local and federal officials to protect its citizens from terrorism, border crime and violence. For us, securing the nation’s border is not just a subject of intense debate, it directly impacts how we live. Two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico border lies in Texas. We need Washington to be a part of the solution, but until it acts, Texas will continue to take care of Texans.
  • Monday, December 03, 2007 • Austin, Texas • Speech
    Gov. Rick Perry’s Remarks to the Texas Homeland Security Conference
    Thank you, Mr. Mayor (Mayor Phil Hardberger). It's always a pleasure to be in San Antonio, whether I'm witnessing the Spurs winning another title or watching with pride as your team handles logistics during a time of crisis. You know, it's nice to see Jack Colley here in a peaceful setting. Most times when we talk, he's briefing me on a natural disaster, so this is a much more enjoyable setting. Steve McCraw, I want to thank you for your tireless service to Texas. By helping build consensus and teamwork among local, state and federal officials, you make our homeland a safer place.
  • Friday, September 28, 2007 • Speech
    Remarks on Behalf of Gov. Rick Perry at the Border Governors Conference
    "Each year, this conference offers governors of the border states the opportunity to not only renew their friendships, but also work together to address common challenges and explore shared opportunity. Governor Perry is looking forward to signing this declaration of the 25th Border Governors Conference and watching it lead to a shared border that is healthier, better educated and more secure."
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2007 • Press Release
    Gov. Perry: Border Security Council to Hold Public Meetings in Border Communities
    Gov. Rick Perry today announced the first meetings of the newly-appointed Border Security Council, October 1-3, 2007. The meetings will take place in border communities, offering a public forum for testimony relating to strengthening safety and security in the Texas-Mexico border region and areas statewide. The meetings will occur during the first phase of the State of Texas’ newest border security surge, Operation Border Star.