National Guard, Called by Texas Gov. Perry, Turning to Food Banks for Help (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) called out the National Guard to guard the U.S.-Mexico border in July, even though that jurisdiction belongs to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The National Guard cannot arrest or detain any undocumented immigrants, but Gov. Perry claims the troops are necessary because "terrorists" from the Middle East may be sneaking over U.S.-Mexico border, noted ThinkProgress.org.

Unfortunately, the National Guard troops that were deployed on Aug. 11 won't get their first paycheck until Sept. 5. Some troops are now turning to food banks to keep them going.

“We were contacted that 50 troops that are in the Valley don’t have any money for food and gas and they need our assistance,” Food Bank RGV Executive Director Terri Drefke told KGTV (video below).

"People find themselves in these types of crisis and they need help,” added Drefke. “We don't want them to go hungry.”

The Wire notes the cost of keeping 1,000 National Guardsmen at the border is about $12 million per month.

Even though Gov. Perry called for the National Guard, he demands the U.S. government pay for his decision.

“It’s embarrassing that our troops have to stand in a food pantry line,” Texas State Rep. Rene Oliveira (D) told KGTV. “This is the fault of the state.”

"This should not have happened and there will be consequences,” added Rep. Oliveira.

The Wire reports, "Gov. Perry's press office challenged the account given by the RGV food bank, and said the Texas National Guard only has a record of two troops receiving aid."

However, it's not clear if the National Guard troops are required to notify the Texas National Guard when they get help from food banks.

Sources: KGTV, The Wire, ThinkProgress.org