Texas will share with other southwest border states $47 million in federal Operation Stonegarden grants to supplement state and local law enforcement activities, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today in Laredo.
She also touted the success of the Obama administration’s “new border security strategy” despite increasing criticism from border lawmakers contending they must take matters into their own hands.
Napolitano said the administration has pursued security with an “unprecedented sense of urgency, making historic investments in personnel, technology and infrastructure,” according to a statement released today.
The announcement comes on the heels of Gov. Rick Perry’s most recent lambasting of the federal government. In a statement released late Wednesday, Perry defended Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to sign into law the state’s controversial immigration bill — a reaction he deemed reasonable given Washington D.C.’s failure to act. Indicating immigration was directly tied to crime, Perry said: “The federal government has failed to secure our borders as drug activity and murder rates soar in many border communities. States are left with no choice. Until the federal government secures the border, I expect more states to legislate in an effort to protect their citizens.” Perry has also taken issue with the Stonegarden monies in the past, declaring his dissaproval of the provision requiring that positions created with the grants be maintained after the funding ceases. "This requirement has hindered the ability of agencies to committ to adding the boots on the ground they so desperatetly need," he said.
Napolitano, however, said that since Obama took office federal law enforcement initiatives have yielded significant gains.
“Apprehensions of illegal crossers were down 23 percent last year from the year before and seizures of cartel-related contraband rose significantly across the board — seizing 14 percent more illegal bulk cash, 29 percent more illegal weapons, and 15 percent more illegal drugs than the year before,” the press statement continues.