BASTROP, Texas (AP) -- Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that sending National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border will defend not just his home state but the entire nation from "narco-terrorists" and brushed aside charges he's playing politics with the issue.<br />
The Republican's possible 2016 White House aspirations got a boost nationally last month when he ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. Perry traveled to Camp Swift Army National Guard Training Center 30 miles outside Austin for a firsthand look at the training they are getting for deployment - while perhaps hoping to look presidential.<br />
"You now are the tip of the spear protecting Americans from these cartels," Perry told hundreds of troops in camouflage. "As they are able to get past you they could be headed to any city, any neighborhood in this country, spreading their tentacles of crime, of fear."<br />
Perry noted that crime committed by people in the U.S. illegally had affected not only Texas, but Iowa, South Carolina and North Carolina, all of which he's visited recently and two of which hold early presidential voting contests.<br />
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety data that Perry frequently cites, 203,000 illegal immigrants have been charged since 2008 with more than 3,000 homicides and 8,000-plus sexual assaults. But federal data shows that, consistent with trends nationwide, crime along Texas' border has fallen in recent years. County sheriffs, state lawmakers and other border officials, meanwhile, have said the National Guard is unnecessary and that Perry is thinking of his political future above all else.<br />
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday that Perry's order "appears to be a feel good show of force without clear purpose."<br />
Perry though, scoffed at that notion.<br />
"The idea that what we're doing is politics versus protecting the people of Texas, the people of this country is just false on its face," he said.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese stocks held steady Thursday following this week's turbulence while other Asian markets were mixed after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at a record low.KE...
WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law on July 30, 1965, roughly half of Americans 65 and older had no health insurance."No longer will older American...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government's top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to...
DETROIT (AP) — In the age of Apple's CarPlay, a lot of cars on the road still have tape decks.The average vehicle in the U.S. is now a record 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS Automotiv...
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's second-largest city is poised to ban possession of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, stepping into the national debate over gun regulation...