Gov. Perry: Transnational Gangs Pose Significant Threat to Texas
Press Release September 30, 2008
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today accepted the Border Security Council’s report and asked the legislature to support continued border security funding to protect our state. Texas has taken unprecedented steps to secure its border with Mexico and is facing a growing threat: transnational gangs. They are infiltrating our communities and threatening the safety of our citizens.
“One of the most significant threats to our state’s security is the rise of ruthless and powerful transnational gangs,” said Gov. Perry. “Working with local law enforcement, we will bring unprecedented pressure to bear on the leadership structures of these gangs and grind them down – one tip at a time, one conspiracy conviction at a time, one gang at a time.”
Gangs like the Mexican Mafia, the Texas Syndicate, Barrio Azteca and MS-13 are threatening Texas citizens, and these increasingly sophisticated organizations are expanding their influence across our state, recruiting members in our schools, communities and prisons.
Gov. Perry’s gang initiative builds on the proven border security strategy of working with local law enforcement and increasing resources for surge operations, as well as providing resources for investigations and prosecutions. The initiative calls for a multi-jurisdictional gang strategy that includes:· Expanding the sharing of vital gang information at all levels of law enforcement across the state;· Centralizing gang intelligence;· Expanding effective local law enforcement gang operations in identified “hot spots”;· Increasing resources dedicated to multiagency criminal enterprise investigations targeting leadership of the most dangerous gangs;· Seeking enabling legislation to arm law enforcement with essential gang fighting tools; and· Expanding gang prevention efforts.
Gov. Perry’s proposal to the 2009 Legislature for continued funding for border security includes $110 million sustained border security funding as well as $24 million to combat transnational gang activity across the state.
“Securing our international border is a federal responsibility, one that Washington has yet to fulfill,” Gov. Perry said. “As a result, the Texas Legislature took decisive action last session by providing the necessary funding to secure our border. I ask that they continue to support this critical effort to protect our communities and combat the escalating threat of gangs in Texas.”
This request for funding follows the Border Security Council’s report, which supports the state’s successful border security strategy and recommends continued funding for border operations; performance measures such as deterrence and prevention of crime; reporting requirements for participating law enforcement agencies; and continued auditing of grant funds. The council, created during 80th Legislative Session, was also charged with advising the governor regarding the allocation of discretionary state homeland security funds.
Border Security Council Report