NEW: Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces plans to fortify security at southern border
He asked President Barack Obama previously to send guard troops
Nearly 60,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border since October
The situation is called a humanitarian crisis, and is at the center of the immigration debate
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will immediately send up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the southern border, where tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America have crossed into the United States this year in a surge that is deemed a humanitarian crisis.
Perry also wants President Barack Obama and Congress to hire an additional 3,000 border patrol agents for the Texas border, which would eventually replace the temporary guard forces.
“I will not stand idly by,” Perry said in Austin Monday, announcing what he called Operation Strong Safety. “The price of inaction is too high.”
Perry’s state has received the majority of migrant children, especially in the Rio Grande region, and he has repeatedly called on the federal government to beef up border security.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House has not yet received the formal communication required for Perry to deploy guard troops.