City leaders left out of the loop of Perry's plan for the border
Mar 18, 2010
Mar 18, 2010
Governor Rick Perry activated his spillover violence contingency plan Tuesday and today has announced he will be sending helicopters to the border to support security efforts. But there's a group of Laredoans who say they're being left in the dark and obviously shouldn't be. Our Annette Garcia joins us with more. Members of the Texas Border Coalition say they should be some of the first to know about the governor's efforts to secure the border but instead they heard about his plan through the media like everyone else. Now they're asking why. “It is extremely frustrating it is extremely frustrating because we hear a lot of rhetoric a lot of talk a lot of promises. We’ve had committee hearings even at city hall and yet we're empty,” says Mayor Raul Salinas. Of all the groups that should be included in discussions on how to keep border residents safe, Mayor Raul Salinas says the Texas border coalition should be at the top of the list. Instead, he says, the governor has left them in the dark. Governor Rick Perry activated his spillover violence contingency plan Tuesday. On Thursday the first phase of the plan took effect as Texas military helicopters were sent to patrol the border. SWAT Teams and Trooper Strike Teams are now on standby. Still even many government officials were never notified. “I’m the chairman of the subcommittee on borders and I don’t know what his plan is,” added Congressman Henry Cuellar. Some say it shows the lack of cooperation between local and state and state and federal officials. The border coalition has sent a letter to Perry asking why they were never notified. “Some of these folks just come for photo ops . We don’t want photo ops we want real action.” Border Coalition members want to know they're being taken seriously they want to meet with government officials and say they won't go to Washington or Austin to do it. they want them to come right here to the border. “it comes to a point where talking is cheap and we need to get to the reality,” says Blas Castaneda of the Border Coalition. Border coalition members say they've been reaching out to the governor even before the murders of Americans in Juarez. Instead they learned of his new plan through the media, along with everyone else, and say it makes it impossible to create an effective strategy to keep people safe. “I want to make sure that the border communities from El Paso to Laredo and all the communities in between see that the governments on the different levels we're all working together.” We asked the governor for a response on the matter. His office sent us this statement saying “the fact is the spillover contingency plan was created last year with input from our local and federal law enforcement partners and we continue to coordinate closely.” Obviously many others here feel differently.