VIDEO: Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas: “We don't want photo ops. We want real action.”

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From Laredo TV station KGNS, a news story about how Rick Perry failed to notify local officials about his secret border plan. The video report, titled, “City leaders left out of the loop of Perry's plan for the border” is below:

From the video, “City leaders left out of the loop of Perry's plan for the border“:

“It is extremely frustrating it is extremely frustrating because we hear a lot of rhetoric a lot of talk a lot of promises. We’ve had committee hearings even at city hall and yet we're empty,” says Mayor Raul Salinas.

Of all the groups that should be included in discussions on how to keep border residents safe, Mayor Raul Salinas says the Texas border coalition should be at the top of the list.

[…]

The border coalition has sent a letter to Perry asking why they were never notified.

“Some of these folks just come for photo ops . We don’t want photo ops we want real action.”

As I detailed in yesterday's post (“Rick Perry's Secret Border Plan Ignores McAllen Police Chief, Texas Border Coalition“), local officials wrote Perry a letter on Wednesday, March 17, asking him to inform him of his plan. Over a dozen of mayors from border downs signed the letter, as members of the Texas Border Coalition. (Click here to read their letter).

Clearly, there was no notification. Probably because they wouldn't have liked it.

From the McAllen Monitor, “What is 'spillover?' It depends on whom you ask

Local officials have said they were not asked to give input for the spillover plan — something Cesinger disputed — and were surprised when it was activated this week.

Treviño has said he believes the spillover plan may be politically motivated, given Perry’s run for re-election in November — a notion the governor’s office denies.

“I am trying to diffuse, I am trying to mitigate, the fear of crime that the governor has created,” the sheriff said. “Give us all the security we can get. But don’t tell (the public) about something that is not happening. Don’t instill the fear of crime into them.”

What notification was there? Well, according to Rick Perry's official spokesperson from his Governor's office, Allison Castle, local officials were notified — in January of 2009.

From the Dallas Morning News story, “White, Perry camps spar over border security

Castle said the mayors should be knowledgeable about the contingency plan.

“The plan was created in consultation with local law enforcement and federal partners,” she said. “And that plan was created in January of last year.” 

For Governor Rick Perry, notifying local officials is not as important as notifying the media.The Texas Border Coalition sent their letter asking Perry to please fill them in on his secret border plan on Wednesday, March 17. The day before — on Tuesday, March 16 — Perry's office sent out a press release stating they had begun the first stages of the secret border plan “in coordination with local” law enforcement.

From the Office of Governor Perry, read the press release here:

At the governor’s direction, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), in coordination with local and federal law enforcement along the Texas-Mexico border, has implemented critical elements of the state’s spillover violence contingency plan.  These steps include increased surveillance of border activity by state and local law enforcement…

Apparently, Governor Perry, you have a very different vision of coordination than anyone else involved with border security.

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About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks, Phillip
    For highlighting this issue.

    While there have been a few, isolated incidents of violence on the US side that were directly related to the cartels, so-called “cross over” just isn't happening.

    It is largely business as usual…and crime as usual…in border counties.  property crime, domestic violence and DUI continue to be the norm.

    To perry's credit, over the past few years he has spent millions to cover overtime and some equipment through ops like Linebacker and Stonegarden. But what these folks need is boots on the ground and vehicles. “His” idea about a UAV has merit…but it isn't his idea.  Cuellar and Napolitano have already been working on it.  But a UAV has been needed for quite a while…not just now, and not just for “cross over” that isn't happening.

    In terms of the double-secret probation strategy, it isn't apparent why from an on-the-ground perspective.  There isn't any cross over violence to speak of (certainly not like there was in 2005).

    What will a National Guard plane/chopper see? Illegals crossing the river and meandering through dozens of miles of the roughest country in Texas, drug smugglers wading bundles of marijuana across, and…that's about it.  It isn't as though they are going to see a tank floating through Roma.

    It certainly seems like politics are in play. Perry and his team are very savvy and are likely setting up a thematic related to sanctuary cities/amnesty/etc. on White. Too bad there isn't an election every year or these communities along the border could have had their personnel and infrastructure in place by now to handle anything.

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