HOUSTON, Texas–Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Fox and Friends show and said Texas lacks the resources and manpower to secure the 1,200 mile Texas border with Mexico. The comment sent shock waves through a Texas grassroots discussion thread on Facebook this morning of activists who are seeking a special session call from the Governor to deal with the issue of border security.
In the video, Governor Perry tells the hosts of Fox and Friends, “We don’t have the resources, nor the manpower to be able to do that (secure the border) for the 1,200 miles. If we did, we would.” The comment came after about three minutes of his explaining the historical perspective of how we got to this point and pointing his finger of blame at the Obama Administration for not securing the southern border of the United States.
Other Texas elected officials, speaking on condition of anonymity have told Breitbart Texas that Texas does, in fact, have the resources to conduct not only a surge operation, but a prolonged border control operation that would secure the Texas border with Mexico. As for the surge operation, most, including Governor Perry, seem to be pointing the finger for the delay at Texas House Speaker Joe Straus.
Host Brian Kilmeade opened the segment asking Perry if he was shocked by the numbers of people crossing the border into Texas. “The numbers are shocking when you think about a thousand a day being apprehended along the border,” Perry said.
Perry explained these children are traveling across Mexico to get to the United States in “incredibly dangerous conditions.” “Your heart goes out to these kids, obviously,” Perry explained, “but the issue is, we should never be seeing this happening. Diplomatically, I think there is a huge breakdown between the United States and those countries (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) in being able to say, ‘wait a minute, what are you doing?'”
Perry discussed the ongoing efforts of Texans to secure its own border with Mexico. “We’ve been sounding that alarm and putting substantial Texas dollars into it,” Perry stated. “We have a request in for even more dollars going towards border security from the Texas standpoint. But it’s 1,200 miles and the idea that the State of Texas should be doing this, I get it, my citizens require me to keep them safe.” Perry goes on to explain the vast resources that Texas has expended along the border.
“This President,” Perry said in a pivot to the federal government, “… is totally and absolutely either inept or, [pausing] is making some decisions that are not in the best interest of American citizens, particularly from a public safety standpoint.”
Perry was asked why Obama has not done something to “stop this right now.” “I don’t know,” Perry responded. “We flagged this issue in 2012 and have yet to even have a response, as far as I know, not from the President, but not even from his administration. These unaccompanied alien children, and that is a huge issue, but also we have record high numbers of ‘other than Mexicans’ (OTM) being apprehended at the border.”
“These are people coming from states like Syria,” Perry explained, “that have substantial connections back to terrorist regimes and terrorist operations. We’re seeing record highs, historic high numbers of these individuals being apprehended.”
“I think, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” he stated, “You need to be addressing this Mr. President. We know how to do this. We have surged into certain sectors of the border and shut down the illegal activities that are going on there.”
Many grassroots activists in Texas are calling on Perry to take a stronger lead on this issue and call a special session of the legislature to provide financial resources to Texas law enforcement to completely and immediately secure the border. An online petition drive was created over the weekend and now has over 3,000 signatures. The petition is titled “Request for Immediate Texas Border Control.”
One of the grassroots activists in the discussion thread, Holly Morse, a self described Tea Party Activist from Dallas, said, “He [Perry] seems to be just pointing the finger at Obama and just wanting to leave it up to him. We can’t do that at this point. Surely Perry gets that. But what he doesn’t get is that we are going to have to step up in Texas.”
Breitbart Texas contacted Governor Perry’s office for a comment about the petition and a potential special session. Press Secretary, Lucy Nashed responded, “I know you and I have discussed that the unaccompanied minor issue is one we’ve known about for years, the root cause of which is the unsecured border. That’s why Texas has put hundreds of millions of dollars into personnel and resources to fill in where the federal government has failed.”
“Gov. Perry has also signed on to a letter with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst,” Nashed continued, “directing DPS to conduct a border surge operation in the coming months. This letter is awaiting approval from Speaker Straus.”
Responding to the call for a special session Nashed said, “As he does with calls for special session on any issue, the governor will take this into consideration.” Breitbart Texas contacted the Governor’s Office again asking for more clarification on the special session issue. A response has not yet been received for those questions.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.