Representative Flynn Reacts to Border Surge, Operation Strong Safety
AUSTIN - On Monday, Gov. Rick Perry directed Texas Adjutant General John Nichols to immediately begin preparations for the deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border. These troops will support the Texas Department of Public Safety's (DPS) ongoing law enforcement surge, Operation Strong Safety, which is focused on combating criminal activity in the region resulting from the federal government's failure to adequately secure the border.
"There can be no national security without border security, and Texans have paid too high a price for the federal government's failure to secure our border," Gov. Perry said. "The action I am ordering today will tackle this crisis head-on by multiplying our efforts to combat the cartel activity, human traffickers and individual criminals who threaten the safety of people across Texas and America."
This deployment builds upon Operation Strong Safety by providing additional personnel that will work seamlessly and side by side with law enforcement officials. It also builds on the National Guard's existing border presence, which has been utilizing air assets to patrol the region looking for illegal activity.
"The National Guardsmen will serve as a force multiplier," stated Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van), who currently serves as a Colonel in the Texas State Guard. "We have air support, watercraft and amphibious equipment, as well as cameras and sensors that are being monitored by Texas State Guard personnel. Folks can criticize the efforts, and argue Texas is failing to do enough, and do it too late, but no one can deny that Governor Perry is doing everything within his power to utilize the resources and personnel available to help protect our state and the safety of its citizens."
Since 2008, more than 203,685 criminal aliens have been booked into Texas county jails. Over the course of their criminal careers, these individuals are responsible for at least 642,564 individual criminal charges mostly consisting of Class B misdemeanors or higher, including 3,070 homicides and 7,964 sexual assaults.
The State of Texas has averaged over 71,000 total criminal arrests* per month in local Texas jails since January 2012. Over that same period, more than 8% of the total arrests per month are foreign nationals, regardless of immigration status. That 8% equates to an average of 5,899 individual criminal aliens arrested per month.
Within that criminal alien total, over 40% are recidivists - meaning they have at least one prior criminal arrest in Texas and were identified as a criminal alien at that time. There are two possible avenues to fall in the recidivist category: 1) the criminal alien was arrested, released from jail, and re-offended; or 2) the criminal alien was arrested, deported, reentered the United States, and re-offended.
Texas has already seen results from Operation Strong Safety - from week 1 to week 3 of operations, apprehensions of illegal immigrants have dropped by 36 percent, from more than 6,600 per week to 4,200 per week in the area of operation.
Two weeks ago, Gov. Perry met with President Barack Obama to discuss the ongoing humanitarian and national security crises occurring along the Texas-Mexico border. At this meeting, the governor reiterated his request for the president to activate 1,000 Title 32 National Guard troops to temporarily support border security operations until 3,000 additional Border Patrol personnel can be trained and deployed. Unlike the governor's activation which will be paid for by Texas taxpayer dollars, a Title 32 activation would have provided additional, federally funded personnel to be used at the state's discretion.