Taking Texas heat to a new level, Republican state governor Rick Perry earlier this month billed the federal government $349 million for costs associated with detention of illegal immigrants, even as he attempts his own immigration to Washington.
In a letter to US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, dated August 10, just three days before Perry announced his presidential bid, the brash governor declared the federal government has failed in securing the Mexican border, helping create a burden on states in attempts at dealing with the hot-button topic of illegal immigration.
In his two-page letter, Perry explained his math: “During tough economic times, when communities are making difficult decisions about their own budgets, Texas counties are being asked to cover more than $94.4 million in direct costs related to housing undocumented immigrants while the state has been left to cover more than $254.8 million in such costs,” Huffington Post reports.
In the letter, Perry called actions of the federal government in relation to the border with Mexico a “longstanding failure,” and added: “Because there are not enough troops on the ground, undocumented immigrants are able to penetrate the Texas border every day and use taxpayer-funded resources.”
There are no reports explaining what Perry meant by “not enough troops on the ground.”
The National Review Online calls Perry’s attempt at seeking more federal aid “phony posturing,” noting Perry’s record on immigration while governor of Texas includes support of an amnesty program for immigrants, signing of a law which, in certain situations, offers taxpayer-funded in-state intuition for immigrants, and opposition of a border fence.
The most recent attempt by a state governor to receive federal support over the immigration issue came in February, when Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, also a Republican, filed a lawsuit against DHS over the immigration issue, a move The Atlantic suggested was designed to strengthen “political positions.”