If Perry's detractors, of whom there are many, criticize him for a "symbolic" act, what about President Obama's motive for not sending federal troops, or finishing the border fence? Obama's critics say the president is "importing" future Democratic voters and creating another underclass that will be dependent on government and thus, the party of big government, the Democrats.
Action, even if insufficient to solve the problem, beats doing nothing in the minds of many Americans disgusted with gridlock and a dysfunctional federal government. Perry's planned troop rollout will occur over the next 30 days. If it reduces the number of illegal immigrants flooding into Texas, Perry could embarrass and serve as a contrast to President Obama and congressional Democrats. It might also improve Perry's presidential chances should he seek the 2016 GOP nomination.
Should the immigrants, as a result of Perry's action, attempt to enter the U.S. at the borders of New Mexico, Arizona or California, the governors of those states might consider following Perry's example.
At an Austin news conference, Perry said he expects Washington to foot the bill for the cost of deploying the Texas National Guard. Good luck with that. He may have more success at the border than with Congress or President Obama, who dither and waffle and stall as the issue of illegal immigration jumps to the top of American concerns.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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