McALLEN, RGV – Futuro McAllen hosts a major debate on immigration reform at the McAllen Public Library Auditorium this evening, with former Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas slated to be one of the panelists.

The debate, entitled Business, Border & Badges, is open to the general public. It will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

After leaving Hidalgo County’s top elected post, Judge Salinas was appointed General Services Administration administrator for Region 7 by President Obama. Now working in the private sector, Salinas chairs the Texas Border Coalition, which comprises cities, counties and economic development corporations from El Paso to Brownsville.

Another member of the Texas Border Coalition’s board, Monica Weisberg-Stewart, is also slated to speak at the immigration reform debate. Weisberg-Stewart, a successful McAllen businesswoman, chairs the TBC’s immigration and border security committee.

J.D. Salinas
J.D. Salinas

Other panelists include McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, the Rev. Tim Moore, lead pastor of Walk Worthy Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas, and legislative liaison to the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, Darrell Renfrow, of the Reynosa Maquila Association (INDEX Reynosa), and John McClung, of the Texas International Produce Association.

The media panel for the immigration reform debate comprises Dave Hendricks of The Monitor, Sergio Sanchez of NewsTalk 710 KURV, Polo Sandoval of KRGV Channel 5 TV, and Steve Taylor of the Rio Grande Guardian. Davis Rankin, of NewsTalk 710 KURV and Futuro McAllen, will be the moderator.

The McAllen Public Library Auditorium is situated on Nolana and 23rd Street in McAllen. Organizers are urging attendees to arrive in good time.

“The Border and immigration questions affect all of us here in McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. It is a very personal issue for many, as well as, a financial issue. It affects all of us if we don’t get goods and people moving safely, quickly, and securely across our border with our neighbor Mexico,” said Futuro McAllen President Nedra Kinerk.

“Delays from red tape, confusing regulations, and inadequate infrastructure, technology, and personnel are extremely costly. Every McAllen resident who cares about keeping our taxes low should be very concerned about this issue.”

Kinerk said Futuro McAllen has been working on quality of life issues in McAllen for over a decade. “Expediting border crossings is a humanitarian and a financial necessity for the quality of life in McAllen. This panel of experts will help us to understand the issues and find workable solutions,” Kinerk added.