The Texas National Guard has completed Operation Strong Safety, deploying to its full thousand member strength along the Texas Mexico border.
Gov. Rick Perry deployed the Guard on July 21st, at the height of the influx of mainly Central American children rushing into Texas, and Perry said the guard would act as a 'force multiplier' to help local authorities and the U.S. Border Patrol fights 'border crime,' citing an increase in crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in Texas.
But officials along the border say the Guard deployment has had no impact, and has simply cost taxpayers an estimated $14 million a month.
"I don’t study crime statistics, but I don't see any difference or rise in crime due to the immigrant influx," said Terry Canales, a Democratic State Representative from Hidalgo County, which was the scene of the largest number of border crossings. "What I do see is a humanitarian crisis."
In deploying the Guard, Perry, who is considering another run for the White House in 2016, said the goal was to fight 'the brutal Mexican drug cartels that are preying on our communities.'
But Richard Garcia, the mayor of the border city of Edinburg, says what the National Guard is doing is scaring away business development and tourism.
"We have spent money on National Guard and unmanned drones and I don't see any difference," Garcia said.
Canales says there is no indication that the influx of Central American children had any impact on crime whatsoever.
"If you say that crime has risen, I would say that is not true," he said.
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