Letter from Texas Governor Rick Perry to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, dated Sept, 17, 2014
Dear President Enrique Peña Nieto:
I read with interest and concern your comments regarding border security on the week of September 11, which called Texas' increased law enforcement presence on the border "unpleasant" and "reprehensible." As neighbors and economic partners, Mexico and the United States are inextricably bound by shared interests and culture. As friends we might not always agree, but we must have an honest and respectful dialogue about the challenges we share, which is why I write to you today.
My time as governor has seen significant changes for both of our nations. Under your leadership, Mexico has undergone remarkable reforms, including measures to increase economic competitiveness and create opportunities for hardworking families, such as education reform, fiscal reform and the privatization of its energy industry.
All the while, our two countries have continued prosperous trade and cultural relationships. Texas is a national example of job creation in the United States, and our economic climate and strong infrastructure network have allowed us to become the nation's largest exporting state. As Texas' economy has grown, commerce between Texas and Mexico has flourished, creating opportunity for families on both sides of the border.
That is why your comments last week were particularly concerning. I believe strongly that our continued prosperity depends on a partnership that works collaboratively to address our shared border security challenges, rather than marginalizing the legitimate views of one side. Our partnership cannot advance if we fail to acknowledge the serious issues associated with lax border enforcement along both of our southern borders.
Our unique relationship as neighbors who share a nearly 2,000 mile border not only requires a spirit of cooperation, but a willingness to confront problems with direct, candid dialogue. The fact is, cartel violence plagues our international border and jeopardizes the security of citizens on both sides of the border. Furthermore, the number of illegal alien apprehensions in this country has been on the rise for the past few years. While many seek only economic opportunity, some seek to exploit our porous border with criminal intent. I will continue to act as necessary to uphold my constitutional obligations, and when it comes to the safety and security of Texans, I will not be dissuaded by rhetoric of any kind.
This crisis has manifested itself in the faces of scared children undertaking perilous journeys, traveling from Central America across Mexico to reach the United States. The threat posed to these young children, families along the border, and communities across Texas as a result of a porous border is real. That is why I directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas' National Guard to provide additional law enforcement resources in the border region. As the Governor of Texas, I have an obligation to put the safety of our citizens first. Those obeying our laws have nothing to fear from our increased law enforcement presence. In fact, I would like to invite you to visit my state to see firsthand the professionalism of our National Guard soldiers and their law enforcement partners as they work to secure the border.
Our challenges today are partly a consequence of the failure of the Mexican government to secure its southern border from illegal immigration by unaccompanied children and other individuals from Central America, or to deploy adequate resources to control the criminal element in Mexico. Whether along Mexico's southern border or Texas', we must ensure our borders are secured in a manner that discourages illicit activities while allowing for legitimate commerce and lawful immigration, and I encourage you to take the necessary steps to do so along your country's southern border.
Our shared border represents a common opportunity to enforce the rule of law and continue a productive dialogue that addresses the evolving realities and challenges of border security. I would be honored to host you in Texas, and am hopeful the United States and Mexico can work as partners to find solutions to these challenges, now and in the future.
(The governor's office issued the following statement on what prompted the letter):
"Gov. Rick Perry today sent the following letter to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto following the President's comments last week regarding Governor Perry's decision to deploy the Texas National Guard to disrupt criminal activity along the Texas-Mexico border."