Texas Gov. Rick Perry handed a letter to President Obama Monday asking for more troops on the southern border to counter what he called the "dire threat" coming from "international drug cartels and transitional gangs."
"The need for border security along the Rio Grande should no longer be underestimated by the federal government, Mr. President," Perry wrote in the letter. Talking Points Media reported that Perry handed the letter to Obama as the president landed in the Lone Star State for an education speech and some campaign events.
He added, "America cannot have a rational discussion of immigration reform without real, effective border security."
He said the administration's plans to send 1,2000 National Guard troops to the border is "clearly insufficient" since just 286 personnel have been deployed. Perry cited four instances of attempted violence on U.S. soil, including bullets hitting the El Paso City Hall on June 29, 2010. But he also said that "death threats, torture, car bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and beheadings" had already cost 28,000 lives, presumably of Mexican citizens.
"We cannot afford to allow these cartels to believe they're free to extend their reach across the border onto American soil. On any given day, the Mexican border region is beset with vicious murders, torture, kidnappings and armed confrontations with Mexican law enforcement and military," he wrote.
Perry has invited the president, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Defense Secretary Robert Gates to meet with him. Here's his formal ask for more troops.
Read the entire letter at Talking Points Memo
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