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Rick Sends the Rangers: It Must be Election Season Again

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Governor Rick Perry announced in Houston yesterday that he sent the Texas Rangers down to the border to fight the “spillover violence.” You can tell we are hot in the middle of election season when it’s time again for His Hairness to get tough on crime. The only problem is he forgot to tell local law enforcment and border officials that he was sending the Rangers, according to a Houston Chronicle story.  He probably neglected to do so because they would have told him it wasn’t necessary and that would have screwed up a perfectly good press release (and video).

Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada annoyed by Perry’s tough on border crime grandstanding sent out a flurry of emails last night taking issue with the Ranger Recon mission. Ahumada had a few suggestions on what might really make a difference if Perry wanted to fight drug cartel crime:

“What is needed is to continue supporting Mexico’s Mérida Plan to fight the drug trade and work closely with Mexico to combat the drug trafficking, money laundering, and other illegal activity associated with the drug cartels like kidnappings, human smuggling, along with enforcing our laws in the U.S.,” he said. This means weeding out corrupt law enforcement officials, securing the nation’s deep water ports of entry to stop the shipment of drugs in containers, and providing local law enforcement with added resources to assist federal agencies combating drug smuggling.

“To continue to promote a plan that calls for the National Guard or Rangers to secure our border is wasteful and unnecessary spending that in my opinion could be put to better use without hurting local economies along the southwest border region.”

 

But then this isn’t really abut border communities or Mexico. If it were, Perry would have given his press conference in Brownsville or Laredo instead of Houston. Why waste a media event on a bunch of Democrats on the border when you can get tough on crime in front of a room full of Republican voters.

 

 

Melissa del Bosque joined The Texas Observer staff in 2008. She specializes in reporting on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border. Her work has been published in national and international publications including TIME magazine and the Mexico City-based Nexos magazine. Melissa is a 2014-15 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.