Texas authorities have increased security at the Mexican border in an effort to cut down the number of undocumented immigrants flowing into the south-western state. Governor Rick Perry, Texas House speaker Joe Strauss and Lt Gov David Dewhurst announced the decision last Wednesday night, demonstrating Texan sovereign action in a situation some would insist is a federal matter.
The initial plan for what is being described as a “surge” is for increased border security to continue until the close of 2014 at the very least, and possibly even longer. The current form of the bill gives the state authorization to spend as much as $1.3 million every week in order to fund the anti-immigration effort. Governor Perry says it is improper for the state to do nothing while waiting for the federal government to decide what to do about the crisis.
The decision has attracted criticism from others involved in state politics, with a petition recently launched online already attracting signatures of more than 4,500 people who believe the legislation needs to be called back and reworked before it is enacted. The possible silver lining for immigration reform advocates is that the federal government may be forced to deal with reform more quickly if states start to develop their own legislation.
Perry says that he believes he was not doing the people of Texas any favors by simply waiting for a long overdue federal solution and that action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.