BASTROP (August 13, 2014) Gov. Rick Perry Wednesday visited some of the 1,000 National Guard troops he ordered to the Texas-Mexico border, but said he does not know how long they'll be deployed.
Perry stopped at Camp Swift Army National Guard training center in Bastrop, 30 miles east of Austin, where he spoke at a hangar and addressed several hundred troops, not all of whom will be dispatched to South Texas.
Perry said he believes the military presence will help stop drug gang crimes in Texas and across America.
“Texas put out the call and you have answered,” he said.
“At stake are the lives of innocent people along both sides of the border, and the safety and well-being of communities across the state, and our nation, placed in jeopardy by the criminal activities of transnational gangs and drug cartels,” he said.
The Republican governor, who's eyeing a possible 2016 presidential run, rejected the idea that the deployment was politically motivated.
He has called the influx of unaccompanied children pouring illegally onto U.S. soil a side issue in his decision to send in the troops.