Texas Border Coalition releases white paper on immigration

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Texas Border Coalition has released policy recommendations on immigration and border management that it would like to see at the lame duck’s convention.

The recommendations are included in a new white paper from the group.

TBC represents cities and counties from El Paso to Brownsville.

TBC has not included comprehensive immigration reform in its policy recommendations, although the group supports the measure. It said it only wants to offer policies that have a realistic chance of being passed by Congress.

The white paper was released at TBC’s annual meeting, held at the Hotel Valencia on the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

El Paso County Commissioner David Stout (pictured above) was named TBC chairman at the annual convention. Stout said the group hopes the white paper will spark robust national debate leading to bipartisan, phased reform of the US immigration system.

“TBC is pleased to publish this paper detailing our views on immigration and border management – key issues dividing the nation today,” Stout said. “First, however, it is important to understand the history that has brought our state and nation to this point today. Much of what people think they know to be true may not be historically accurate.”

The white paper focuses on the history of immigration and enforcement on the Texas-Mexico border, beginning with the Republic of Texas to the present. It is argued that successful management of the Texas-Mexico border depends on immigration and security policies that reflect economic/social reality, including those that address the push-pull factors inherent in the national and Texas economic/social landscape are evident.

The paper also includes recommendations on immigration policy, limited to bipartisan legislation that has a more than 50 percent chance of being passed later this year. These include: passage of the Dream Act, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act; legislation to reclaim thousands of unissued green cards and reallocate them for current use; and funding the US Department of Homeland Security-operated Emergency Food and Shelter program to ensure local governments and nongovernmental organizations can implement programs that address the needs of migrants entering the United States

As for the border management proposals, TBC is calling on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Border Solutions Act and the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act.

“TBC believes that partisanship and hostility should not play a role in solving our immigration and border management issue,” said Eddie Treviño, Jr., a Cameron County judge and former TBC chairman. “An investment in an understanding of history and reality, as well as a strong dose of humanity, is required to help solve the frontier issues that challenge our nation today.”

McAllen Business Owner Monica Weisberg-Stewart is Chair of the TBC Immigration and Border Security Committee. She said: “Congress must act urgently before the year is out. By embarking on a limited, bipartisan package of immigration reforms, Congress can begin to lay a foundation for making America’s immigration system functional again. Failure to act will perpetuate a broken system with consequences for immigrants, their families, the American economy and society.”

The white paper is titled Texas Borders, History, Policy and Management. Click here to read the white paper: Texas Borders, History, Policy and Management.