Rick Perry: Obama Failed Constitutional Duty to Secure Border

Image: Rick Perry: Obama Failed Constitutional Duty to Secure Border (Mike Theiler/Reuters/Landov)

Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 06:30 AM

By Cathy Burke

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Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry says the Obama administration has "failed" in its constitutional responsibility "to secure the border," triggering the flood of 57,000 undocumented minors who've crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since October.

"The federal government is required by the Constitution to secure the border," Perry told the Military Times in an interview Monday.  "That’s an enumerated power. It is directed by the Constitution. They have failed in that responsibility."

Special: Caught on the Border - See the Video

Perry, who may make another run at the White House in 2016, told the Military Times he'd "called repeatedly on the federal government to live up to that responsibility to protect this nation by securing the border…"

"Texans have already invested half a billion dollars in border security — and frankly, that is a burden that the Texas taxpayers should not have to be shouldering. My bottom line is I couldn’t stand idly by while our citizens are under assault — and for that matter, you have these little children from Central America who are being detained in squalor."

Perry asked President Barack Obama to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the southern border until more Border Patrol agents can be trained, then used his authority as governor to do it himself.

"There can be no national security without border security," Perry told the Military Times. "As our very capable and brave men and women of the Border Patrol are pulled away from their law enforcement duties to give this humanitarian aid [to children], you have the drug cartels and the human traffickers and these individual criminals who are exploiting that situation for their own criminal opportunities. That’s the reason I used my executive authority as governor and activated the National Guard."

The Texas Army and Air National Guard will establish outposts from which they can alert law enforcement if they see people crossing the border, but Perry said they could also stop undocumented migrants.

"Yeah, I think they will be used in that role," he said. "They don’t have the ability to arrest but they do have the ability to detain until the proper authorities do come along."

The issue of whether the Guardsmen can make any arrests has come up since Perry made the announcement. The Guard troops will be armed, but only so they can defend themselves, according to Air Force Maj. Gen. John Nichols, who has said he expects the mission to last up to a year.

Vote Now: Do you believe the Obama administration has secured our border with Mexico? Vote Now

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