Before a crowded court, Tuesday, Tom Green County Commissioners passed a resolution preventing the housing of undocumented children within our county lines.
The heated discussion lasted more than an hour between Commissioner's and the dozens of residents in attendance, but in the end, the statement was made that we are in opposition of serving as a safe-house for illegal immigrants.
Dozens of concerned citizens appeared before County Commissioners, Tuesday, expressing their opposition to the possibility of immigrants being housed in Tom Green County.
"These children do need to be taken care of, but it should be the responsibility of the Federal Government, not the County," a concerned citizen said.
One woman in attendance says, as a generous community we should step-up and help those in need.
"Ultimately I think we need to open our hearts and not be so quick to dismiss what's going on. We are strong. If we put our head and our hearts together, we can do something for this community," the woman opposed to the resolution said.
More than 57,000 unaccompanied children have crossed into the U.S. illegally as they leave their violent and impoverished towns in Central America.
San Angelo is one of only 17 in the state designated as a shelter-hub. Foster Communications Coliseum would be the primary facility that can house up to 800 people.
This week, hundreds were expected to be transported back to their home country.
County Judge, Steven Floyd, says there's not an easy solution to this overwhelming immigration crisis.
"We can't solve all the problems. We can just pray that their leaders can solves theirs, so those poor parents don't have to stick their kid on a train and send them to the Promise land not knowing what's going to happen," Floyd said.
Three affirmed votes passed the Tom Green County resolution. Citizen, Ken Casper, says this is a statement shared with many local governments.
"The resolution that was before us is 'Do we want to have this imposed on us?' and that answer is 'No!' If it is imposed on us we will meet our moral and legal obligations, that's part of our being American," Casper said.
One Commissioner abstained from voting, and Precinct Four Commissioner, Bill Ford, voted against the resolution.
"I'm just going to tell you that I'm going to agree with the heartfelt desire of the resolution, but first of all I don't think it has teeth but I just can't vote on it consciously. My conscience won't allow it," Ford said.
The White House is trying to get Congress to sign-off on a $3.7 billion (B) emergency spending request to deal with this situation by adding more immigration Judges and Detention Facilities.
Texas Legislation announced, Monday, would allow U.S. Border Patrol Agents to turn Central American children around at the border, similar to current laws that reject Mexican immigrants.
Federal Immigration laws provide housing for unaccompanied minors until their immigration court hearings, which can sometimes take years.