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TribBlog: Drone Finally Coming to Texas

An unmanned aerial drone will begin patrolling Texas’ border with Mexico next month.

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An unmanned aerial drone will begin patrolling Texas’ border with Mexico next month. The Federal Aviation Administration today approved a June 1 start date for the project following months of pleading by Texas lawmakers, including Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn.

“This is progress, but we have much more work to do to secure our borders. The American people are terribly upset, scared, and angry with the Federal Government, and they don’t understand why we aren’t doing more,” Cornyn said in a statement released today.

As recently as yesterday, Cornyn argued with Department of Homeland Security officials that, given the dire situation in northern Mexico and the very real possibility of violence creeping into Texas, at least one of the five Predator drones used by Customs and Border Protection should be redirected to Texas.

Former U.S. Border Patrol sector chief and current U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, stated before that drones have been patrolling the border for a decade, but Perry and other border lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, joined Cornyn is pressing the issue. It's not clear whether one of the drones currently in operation will be redirected or if CBP will use a new one.

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