Texas has spent $500 million in state money since 2005 on border security and hired a retired Army general to map out strategy, The New York Times
Border control is a federal responsibility. Republican State Rep. Dennis Bonnen told the Times that if Washington chooses "not do the job" Texas has "no choice but to fill the holes."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has patched together a state version of the border patrol comprised of game wardens, Texas Rangers, and National Guard troops. The state even purchased its own high-altitude surveillance planes for $7.4 million, the Times reported.
The enforcement focus is stopping narco-terrorists associated with the Mexican drug cartels and to halt the illegal movement of people and drugs into the state.
Perry wants the federal government to pick up the tab on what the state has spent to secure the border. The federals have refused Perry's request to station 1,000 National Guard troops on the border.
Perry's political opponents such as El Paso county judge Veronica Escobar say he should not be involved in border control. "It's not something the federal government has asked him to do. It is such a waste of taxpayer resources especially when so many fundamental needs are underfunded," the Times reported.
Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told the Times states should not "over-militarize" the border with Mexico and that Perry has "gone a bit too far."
In addition to airplanes, helicopters, boats, and land sensors to monitor the border, the state outfits its patrol with camouflage uniforms and the latest equipment.
Texas authorities are often quicker to respond to possible infiltrations than the federal Border Patrol. The state has made 13,000 arrests along the border and confiscated $87 million worth of narcotics, the Times reported.
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