Rick PerryTexas Governor Rick Perry is sick of President Obama dragging his feet on the border crisis situation, so he's taking matters into his own hands and deploying up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. More than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have entered the country illegally since last October; more than double compared to the year before. Most of the kids and teens have fled from rampant gang violence and intense poverty in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

It's been deemed a humanitarian crisis, and Perry said Texas has a responsibility to act after "lip service" from the federal government. More than 3,000 Border Patrol agents already work in the region, but it's not enough to deal with the influx of migrants.

"I will not stand idly by ... the price of inaction is too high," Perry said in Austin on Monday as he announced his plan, which he's calling Operation Strong Safety.

Governor Perry has met with the President on more than one occasion to discuss strategy on how to deal with the border crisis, but has obviously been unsatisfied at the Obama Administration's lack of action. He understands that the first thing that needs to happen is for the flow to be stemmed. People will stop ripping their families apart and sending their kids to sneak across the border if a strong message is sent that there's no free pass into the U.S. At least that's the hope.

Perry has every right, as governor, to deploy Texas military forces unless those forces have already been mobilized by the White House. The difference is, if Obama deploys them, the federal government picks up the tab, but if Perry sends them, the bill goes to Texas. At a cost of about $12 million a month for the additional troops, it's not exactly chump change.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, "Gov. Perry has referred repeatedly to his desire to make a symbolic statement to the people of Central America that the border is closed ... and he thinks that the best way to do that is to send 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. It seems to me that a much more powerful symbol would be the bipartisan passage of legislation that would actually make a historic investment in border security and send an additional 20,000 personnel to the border."

Seriously? Scary legislation is going to secure our borders? Boots on the ground will secure our borders, not Republicans and Democrats bickering at each other on Capitol Hill.

Yes, we need immigration reform -- we need it desperately. But first we need to secure the border. You can't build a functional door in a wall that doesn't exist.

And for those who think a secure border, complete with a fence and armed guards, is a silly idea ... well, I have to agree with one of my favorite pundits, Charles Krauthammer, who asked a great question a couple of weeks ago on Fox News. "If fences don't work," he posited, "Why is there one around the White House?"

Do you think it's important that we secure the border?

 

Image via Governor Rick Perry/Flickr