(McKinney, Texas) – The Democratic Party of Collin County does not support the current version of County Commissioner Mark Reid’s proposed resolution, newly styled as “The Proper Role of County Government in Providing Temporary Housing and Care for Migrant Children.”
The resolution states that the “federal government has failed to defend the sovereign borders of the United States and Texas…” which is a subjective statement that cannot be proven. There are times when border officials are overwhelmed with an influx of traffic at the border, but to state the federal government has failed to defend the border is matter of speculation and not a true statement.
We believe the border to the US is reasonably secure as possible, but we also feel that federal agencies need additional resources to stop improper entries at unauthorized points along the border. The fact that thousands of unaccompanied minor children have crossed the border into Texas and willingly surrendered to border patrol agents is not indicative of an unsecure border, but rather, the needs of several federal agencies to put additional resources in place to handle a large influx of migrants, all at once. The President has asked Congress for additional funding and we support his call for the US House of Representatives to do its job and fund the Border Relief package, along with comprehensive immigration reform, which has already passed in the US Senate.
The revised resolution offered by Commissioner Reid states that the “housing of minor children, whether designated as a ‘refugee’ or otherwise, is not a core function of county government,” and then it goes on to direct “all County agencies to deny requests or directives to process these children (sic), except for core functions of law enforcement, health care services, and child protective services.” We find the resolution, as revised, to be very uncompassionate in its approach to helping provide much needed resources for unaccompanied children, fleeing the violence of Central America. This is not what we think most residents of Collin County would want or support.
While Collin County was never asked to provide any support for refugee children, we still believe it wrong for Collin County officials to entertain a resolution and policy that would deny much needed support, should it be needed or requested, for any future situation where there is a huge influx of unaccompanied immigrant children coming into the United States and into Texas.
Recent media reports indicate that federal officials are no longer looking to outside resources to house and care for unaccompanied children due to a very recent drop in the number of kids coming across the border. This is certainly good news.
We applaud Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ effort to change the conversation about unknown, faceless immigrants … to a humanitarian crisis involving children – children who need love and reassurance. We applaud our own County’s faith-based organizations and churches for stepping up to the plate and offering whatever assistance they could offer. We are saddened that our County’s elected officials have not joined in that effort and have taken a position that helping the most unfortunate is not a core function of county government.
We hope Collin County Commissioner Mark Reid pulls the resolution from the agenda and takes a more compassionate approach to this issue in the future.