/ Updated 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, considered a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, said Monday he will deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.

Perry said his focus will be on the need to fight Mexican drug cartels and crime over the issue of the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. in recent months.

"The price of inaction is too high," Perry said, announcing the deployment as part of Operation "Strong Safety."

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said unaccompanied children represent "but a tiny fraction of the number of illegals who cross our border every day." U.S. law limits use of military forces in civilian affairs.

In recent weeks, the border has seen a drop in the number of unaccompanied children apprehended. Also, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the number of apprehensions of adults traveling with children in the Rio Grande Valley had dropped since June.