Border Mayors Say They Need Humanitarian Support, Not Troops | Texas Public Radio

Border Mayors Say They Need Humanitarian Support, Not Troops

Jul 31, 2014

Mayors from three communities on the Texas border are calling on Congress to pass some type of spending bill to help care for the influx of women and children coming from Central America.

The mayors from McAllen, Edinburg and Brownsville are calling for fewer troops and more compassion.

Mayor Richard Garcia of Edinburg said his city has not seen an increase in crime related to the influx in border crossings.

"Proof is in the pudding," Garcia said. "We’re right here on the frontline, we get the most of these people through here and we don’t have an increase in disease, we don’t have an increase in crime and I think that’s what most of the people away from the border are fearing.”

Garcia’s message to the feds is they need financial help processing the kids and not more troops on the border.  

"We not only have a short-term goal of trying to figure out the status of refugee or non-refugee," said Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, "we have to work with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala and try to really address the internal problem of why they are fleeing and the violence in their country."

McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said they could use more help clothing and feeding and housing the children.

“We work with the Catholic church to provide them some rest, showers, food, clothing and provisions to go on their way,” Darling said.

Darling said the city of McAllen has been looking to be reimbursed by the federal government for the last six weeks. 

He and the mayors from the cities of Edinburg and Brownsville are also asking congress to pass a bill that is fair, allowing the Central American children here seeking asylum to have the same opportunities as someone caught in the U.S. that is from Mexico or Canada, and to adequately provide those children fair legal representation.

Today the House abandoned a vote on a border bill. Congress goes on recess tomorrow, August 1.