Governor Rick Perry is encouraging the Texas Legislature to support a $100 million border security package to be proposed this session. Gov. Perry made this announcement at a press conference about the recent launch of Operation Wrangler, a statewide expansion of highly successful border security surge operations.
"We have launched a statewide operation this week, Operation Wrangler, to send a message to drug traffickers, human smugglers and criminal operatives that their efforts to exploit our international border will come at a great cost," Perry said. "In order to continuously fund surge operations like this one in the future, I am asking the legislature to join me in supporting a $100 million investment in border security."
Operation Wrangler is a coordinated interagency law enforcement surge effort intended to prevent and disrupt all crime, including illegal international drug and human trafficking. It is the second phase of Operation Rio Grande, launched February 2006, which reduced all crime by an average of 60 percent in sheriff-patrolled areas of border counties during five surge operations last year.
"There can be no safe haven for drug traffickers and human smugglers anywhere in Texas," Perry said. "If legislators pass my $100 million border security package, we can take back our streets, neighborhoods and private ranches from the criminal scourge that currently jeopardizes them."
Operation Wrangler will involve federal, state and local ground, air and water-borne assets, including more than 6,800 personnel, 2,200 vehicles, 48 helicopters, 33 fixed wing aircraft and 35 patrol ships. Up to 90 sheriffs' offices and 133 police departments are participating, as well as 604 Texas Army National Guard (TANG) troops activated by Perry. These TANG troops comprise 12 armed security platoons that will deploy to various traffic crossovers along the Rio Grande River and will be accompanied by a Border Patrol agent and a local police officer.
Local, state and federal agencies involved in Operation Wrangler include the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Texas Department of Transportation; the National Park Service; the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; the Texas Civil Air Patrol; the Texas Cattleman's Association; Texas Military Forces; Texas Task Force 1; the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the Railroad Police; the U.S. Transportation Security Agency; the U.S. Postal Service; the U.S. Coast Guard; and the University of Texas Center for Space Research.
"The best border security policy involves more boots on the ground, more patrol cars, more helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, more patrol boats and the latest law enforcement technology. All of this costs money; but our security is worth a whole lot more."