The swirling force of Texas politics

Giuliani, Perry Talk Border Security

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Former New York governor Rudy Giuliani will make a campaign swing to help Texas Gov. Rick Perry raise money in the race for governor.

    Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Gov. Rick Perry are both Republicans, but are almost polar opposites.  Giuliani is balding while Perry is known for his full head of hair. Perry is pro-life. Giuliani is pro-choice. Giuliani has pushed for gun control in New York. Perry is a big 2nd Amendment proponent.

    "People disagree about some things, but it doesn't mean they can't work together in the area in which they agree," Giuliani told the crowd of reporters.

    Giuliani said he agrees with Perry on one thing: Border security.

    Perry stopped in Irving on Wednesday to tout his new plan to send Texas Rangers and Texas National Guard troops in small teams to protect Texas' border with Mexico.  But the governor wouldn't specify how many of the 134 Texas Rangers would make the trip to the border.

    "We're not going to tip our hand to the bad guys about where we're going or how many people. We'll let them worry about that. They're going to be there and they're going to be stopping the bad guys," Perry said.

    Perry told reporters he's making the move because the federal government has not done enough.

    "Texas continues to deal with the federal government's abject failure to secure our international border," Perry said, surrounded by Irving Police officers. "I have no idea why Washington has been so averse to defending, securing the Southern border," Perry added.

    Perry also said he wants military predator drones, used in training in Houston, to fly over the border and share information with state officials. He also supports using high tech equipment to keep an eye on people coming over the border.

    Perry's chief GOP gubernatorial rival, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, has criticized Perry's electronic surveillance program, saying it's not cost effective. Hutchison's aides point to stats saying the $2 million spent has only netted 11 arrests. Perry shot back, telling reporters that the unblinking eye of surveillance cameras has prevented countless border crimes from happening.

    "When the bad guys know that there are cameras out there and night vision, predators flying up and down, and additional boots on the ground, that's when you have the real impact on crime," Perry said.

    Reporters asked Perry why the state has not taken advantage of the 287(g) program, a program that allows county and local officers to be trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. The 4 week program gives officers who complete the course the ability to enforce immigration law. According to a government Web site, only the Harris County Sheriff's Office, Farmers Branch and Carrollton police departments are 287(g) certified.

    "We take advantage of every one of the programs we can. We analyze them. I think that is a pretty weak way to deflect criticism from Washington D.C.," Perry answered.

    Perry also took a veiled jab at Hutchison when he said he has already proposed sending 1,000 National Guard troops on the federal dime to patrol the border , but hasn't heard back from Washington.

    "The federal government doesn't seem to be a big problem spending money in Washington D.C. I don't know why they can not find the money to fund a thousand troops to help secure Texans," Perry said.