AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano proposing that 600 soldiers be put in "reconnaissance platoons" that would scour remote areas for drug and immigrant smugglers along the border.Napolitano has so far made no recommendation on the April letter sent by Perry, who suggested the patrols would be prudent given Mexico's drug-gang killings and kidnappings.The San Antonio Express-News obtained a copy of the letter for a story published Thursday.Perry's plan would be part of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops called up to full-time duty. Perry could call up the Guard on his own but the state would have to pay for it. The $135.6 million it would cost in the first year isn't included in the state budget adopted for 2010-11Under the plan, the soldiers would be deployed in 24 reconnaissance platoons to 20 remote locations."It is my recommendation that the federal government adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach in addressing the threat from spillover violence by immediately increasing the security along the U.S.-Mexico border with an overwhelming uniformed patrol presence on the ground, in the water and in the air," Perry wrote.
Sounds like a big step in the right direction, but will Janet Napolitano or Obama do anything about the request? Probably not.