Brownsville, TX – The top executive heading this border city’s economic development effort pleaded with Gov. Rick Perry to change his mind about sending 1,000 National Guardsmen to help guard against illegal immigration at a combined cost of $17 million per month.
Eduardo Campirano is director of the Port of Brownsville, but more importantly, he spoke as chairman of the Rio South Texas Economic Council. He says the Governor’s nationwide announcement will crimp the council’s efforts to recruit new businesses to the area, that it sends the wrong message.
Campirano released a statement on Monday, July 21, saying, “Federal and local law enforcement in Texas have given us no indication there has been any significant changes in amounts or types of contraband entering our country.
“Adding a military presence to our communities will only create an inaccurate image that our safe and viable border region in the Rio Grande Valley is dangerous, and that the problem is not presently being managed, which is not the case.
“This erroneous impression can harm our attempts to recruit new businesses. We respectfully ask the governor to rescind his orders to send the National Guard to the border.”
Perry vowed to augment an increased state police presence on the border – which costs up to $1.3 million per week, and as much as $17 million per month with the added expense of the 1,000 guardsmen, but admits there is no readily identifiable method of paying for the headline-grabbing initiative. He is looking at a bid for President in 2016.
GOP nominee for Governor Greg Abbott made an unsuccessful bid for $30 million in federal funds, a figure he says will pay the costs.
“Texans are willing to put boots on the ground,” Abbott said, “but we expect Washington to foot the bill.”
White House spokesmen said Perry’s announcement is merely a way to “generate headlines.”
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