Texas gets ready for spillover from Mexico
Mexico needs help implementing a counterinsurgency strategy to deal with a criminal insurgency. The US needs to be prepared to deal with any spillover from that effort.
As drug cartels continue to terrorize Mexico, Texas officials are planning for the worst-case scenario: how to respond if the violence spills over the border, and what to do if thousands of Mexicans seek refuge in the United States.
Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said a multi-agency contingency plan is being developed, and it will focus primarily on law enforcement issues, including how to handle an influx of Mexicans fleeing violence.
"At this point, what we're focusing on is spillover violence," Cesinger told FOXNews.com Thursday. "The immediate concern, if any, would be that."
More than 5,300 people were killed in Mexico last year in connection to criminal activity, and some experts predict things will get worse. Along with Pakistan, Mexico was identified in a Department of Defense report last year as a country that could destabilize rapidly.
If that were to happen, officials are concerned that the drug violence could cross the Rio Grande into southern Texas.
Cesinger said the plan currently does not address a potential flood of refugees, though "It may be something that comes into consideration."
"Let's pray that this does not develop in Mexico," Patrick told FOXNews.com. "However, when you hear the president of the United States cast dire warnings on our country, that even our financial system could collapse, it makes you think. If the United States can face catastrophe, obviously Mexico could as well.
"We have to seriously consider that as a remote possibility, so therefore, we need to have a plan."
Patrick called upon Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McGraw to present a comprehensive plan to the state's Legislature.
McGraw, who reportedly told lawmakers at a recent border security meeting that fears of Mexico's collapse were "well-grounded," was unavailable to comment Thursday, Cesinger said.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff indicated last month that the continuing violence has prompted plans for civilian and military law enforcement should it spread into the United States.
What I would like to see done is a focus on the areas across from which the criminal insurgents are fighting for control. Juarez and Reynosa are two areas as well as Nuevo Laredo. There has to be something on this side of the border that makes control of those border cities so important. The obvious answer is the transit routes for drugs into the US. If we could close those transit routes it would make the fight to control the Mexican cities moot.