Texas Governor Rick Perry is mulling a border neighborhood watch-style program; the governors of Arizona and New Mexico have declared state emergencies in counties struggling with rising immigrant smuggling and violence, says the Dallas Morning News. “It’s a scream for help from Congress,” said Frank Sharry, head of the National Immigration Forum, an immigrant advocacy group lobbying for an immigration overhaul. “They are basically pounding the table and saying, ‘Do something.’ ”
Sen. John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who will play a pivotal role in the debate as chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee, is “pretty optimistic” Congress will tackle a comprehensive border security and immigration overhaul package this fall. Rep. John Culberson (R-Houston), who has introduced legislation to deputize armed civilians in a Border Protection Corps, believes immediate action is necessary to patrol a porous border he views as a major national security threat. “The bottom line is that the local and state law enforcement authorities are overwhelmed and overrun,” he said.