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Perry: Cartels Take Advantage of Surge in Illegal Immigration

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Posted: Jun 23, 2014 6:10 PM

Updated: Jun 30, 2014 3:08 PM

WESLACO - Gov. Rick Perry and the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety say cartels are exploiting the United States' immigration system.

Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw held a news conference Monday in Weslaco to address the issue.

The officials said drug cartels are using unaccompanied children to overwhelm Border Patrol to keep them from stopping the drug loads.

Last week, Perry approved a $1.3-million-a-week border security program for the region. The increased patrols are expected to last through the end of the year.

A DPS spokesman said troopers will go after drug cartel operators in the region. The troopers do not have authority to enforce immigration laws.

DPS officials said the additional funds will pay for more law enforcement personnel and overtime to combat the Mexican drug cartels.

"We're already engaged, and we're going to be more engaged," Perry said during Monday's conference.

Topics: rick perry, steve mccraw, immigration, border, rio grande valley, dps, texas department of public safety

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