The ongoing war-of-words between Congressman Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) and Republican Gov. Rick Perry escalated on Monday when Castro fired off a letter warning Perry against creating a “police state” along the border.
In July, Perry announced he was sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border to help combat the flow of trafficking amid a surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America. Perry said the troops are needed because of federal inaction, but Castro expressed significant concerns about their presence.
“Rio Grande Valley leaders agree that the $US12 million per month of taxpayer money you plan to spend (with no defined metrics to measure success) would be better invested in supporting local police and sheriff departments in those communities. Furthermore, any attempt to give domestic police power to soldiers is ill-advised. The people of South Texas do not want to and should not have to live in a police state,” Castro wrote.
Castro also criticised Perry for riding a gun-mounted patrol boat with Fox News host Sean Hannity, which he said could lead to “uglier demonstrations of hostility.”
“I am disappointed that your first instinct was to head down to the Rio Grande to pose by mounted machine guns as if on a trophy hunt. These actions imply hostility toward young children fleeing violence in their home countries and give licence to uglier demonstrations of hostility,” he wrote.
Monday’s missive is just one of several letters exchanged between the two Texas pols. According to Politico, In a July 23 letter, Perry told Castro the National Guard troops would not militarize the border.
Castro’s comments, Perry wrote, “indicated a basic misunderstanding about the very positive role the Guard will play in tackling the border security crisis.”
Perry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Castro’s latest criticism.
View Castro’s letter below:
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.