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TribBlog: The Drone! The Drone! (Maybe)

The federal government seems to be warming to Gov. Rick Perry's demands for an unmanned drone on the Texas-Mexico border.

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The federal government threw Gov. Rick Perry a little hope on Friday that his standing request for border reinforcements might become a reality. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and her staff will consider expanding its unmanned aerial surveillance, according to a statement released on Friday.

“We are currently working with the FAA to obtain the necessary authorizations to do so," said DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler.

Perry has said all week that with the escalating violence on the Texas-Mexico border, including last week’s daytime killings of two U.S. citizens with ties to the U.S. Consulate’s office in Juarez, warranted expansion of the unmanned aerial surveillance program.

“How many Americans will have to die before our federal government takes serious action along the Texas-Mexico border?” Perry asked in a news release slamming Washington, D.C. this week.

The wait is not completely, however, so spy-plane enthusiasts shouldn’t get their hopes up. DHS said it must follow basic steps before sending a drone southbound.

“Before border security missions can commence, DHS must secure the infrastructure,” Chandler said. “We are working to address these issues and will continue to look to Texas as a partner in these efforts."

Perry has also asked for 1,000 National Guard troops to be deployed to the border. So far, that request has gone unanswered.

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