AUSTIN — President Barack Obama's deployment of 250 National Guard troops to the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border has intensified a politically charged debate over border security just two weeks before Obama visits the state to raise money for Democratic candidates.
Republican Gov. Rick Perry, one of Obama's harshest critics in Texas, has asked to meet with Obama during his Aug. 9 fundraising trip to discuss his concerns about Obama's "grossly insufficient" allocation of Guard troops, Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said.
Perry chief of staff Ray Sullivan has "reached out" to the White House to request a meeting between Perry and Obama when the president visits Austin and Houston for fundraisers sponsored by the Democratic National Committee and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, Cesinger said.
"The scope and magnitude of the threat our nation faces demands a more serious and robust commitment," Perry told Obama in a recent letter.
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Obama's administration has announced that it will send 1,200 Guard troops to the four states bordering Mexico beginning next Sunday. Texas, which has more than 60 percent of the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, will get 20 percent of the allocation, or 250 troops. The Texas allocation equates to one troop for every five miles of the state's border with Mexico.
Arizona, which has 19 percent of the border, will get 524. California will receive 224 troops, New Mexico will get 72, and the rest will go to a national liaison office.
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