Grassroots America event calls for stronger border security - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Grassroots America event calls for stronger border security

(Source: KLTV staff) (Source: KLTV staff)

The first wave of National Guard troops are stationed along the Texas-Mexico border, but a group of East Texas activists says that's not enough. They want government leaders to take even more aggressive action.

During a Grassroots America event, state representatives raised questions about what the one thousand National Guard troops will do on the border. Earlier this week, Governor Rick Perry spoke to some of those troops.

“Your message and your mission is very clear. To be that visible presence, to deter the criminal activity, contribute those additional eyes and ears to assist law enforcement and border patrol agents along the border,” he said.

Representative Matt Schaefer says he doesn’t oppose the deployment.

“I think we need to do more. In fact there’ve been times in Texas not too long ago where we sent even more National Guard troops to the border than we’re even sending now,” he said.

But Schaefer says we need to do more.

“Given the scale of the problem, given the distance on the border, we’re going to have to hire more DPS troopers. We’re going to have put more National Guard resources on the border and it’s going to cost us more,” he said.

Grassroots America supporter Laura Perryman says she agrees.

“It’s 1,200 miles of border. You can’t man that with just 1,000 troops,” said Perryman.

George Smith says the troops may help, but he says it’s a waste of taxpayer resources.

“Quite honestly, I think it’s a political thing. It’s not really going to make much of a difference,” he said.

State officials have estimated the deployment will cost $12 million per month.

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