BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition has urged the Biden Administration to take immediate steps to stem the flow of migration at the southern border.
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is a collective voice of border mayors, county judges, economic development commissions focused on issues that affect 2.5 million people along the Texas-Mexico border region and economically disadvantaged counties from El Paso to Brownsville.
The group is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care.
Cameron County Judge and TBC Chairman Eddie Treviño, Jr., wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stating his concerns over a recent spike in asylum seekers being dropped off in border communities. He said more and more COVID-positive asylum seekers are entering the U.S. via the southern border.
“Absent your immediate attention, there is growing potential for the situation to spin out of control in many border communities,” Treviño, pictured above, wrote.
A news release from TBC said the group is working closely with the state and federal government to educate, advocate, and secure funding for transportation, immigration and border security, workforce development, economic development and health care.
Here is a copy of the TBC letter in its entirety:
August 2, 2021
The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20395
Urgent Request for Action
Dear Secretary Mayorkas,
We write with special urgency about conditions in our communities on the Texas-Mexico border that require action by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Absent your immediate attention, there is growing potential for the situation to spin out of control in many border communities.
We appreciate the Biden Administration’s Blueprint for a Fair, Orderly and Humane Immigration System, published Wednesday. It includes several initiatives the Texas Border Coalition (TBC) strongly supports, such as increasing investments in border technology, modernizing the land ports of entry, reducing visa and immigration court backlogs, investing in Central America and congressional action to reform our nation’s broken immigration system. These are needed actions that we have supported over many years and will work with you to aid in their implementation.
They will also take time to take effect. There are other items in the Blueprint that demand action now.
Our communities cannot wait weeks or months for the Biden Administration to implement the Blueprint’s plans to improve the expedited removal process for migrants who do not qualify for asylum. Our local humanitarian support organizations are operating at or beyond capacity now and need help – especially should Title 42 authorities be removed. When these organizations or their local government partners ask the Border Patrol to pause releasing migrants to allow humanitarian organizations to appropriately support them, or to stop releasing migrants infected with COVID-19, these requests should be honored. We request you order Border Patrol to work with local communities so that we might avoid the consequences of ignoring them.
Given the rise in reported positive COVID tests, TBC requests the Administration keep Title 42 authorities in place until positivity rates decrease to manageable levels, giving the Administration and local communities time to implement policies to effectively address any changes.
Should the Administration lift Title 42 restrictions in the next several weeks, we request appropriate consultation with border leaders to assure that adequate plans are in place. This should include both increased staffing at the land ports of entry (with all the COVID protections necessary), including asylum officers and processing personnel. The plan must include sufficient coordination with and funding for humanitarian organizations to prevent the release of migrants into border communities not equipped to handle an influx.
We also urge you to consult with border leaders about any plans you might have in place for returning to normal operations at our land ports of entry. This includes efficient and safe operations at our land ports of entry that will safeguard the health and safety of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel who protect our homeland and citizens. TBC requests that CBP ensure that its personnel are vaccinated and adequately outfitted with Personal Protective Equipment to protect the health of our officers, their families, our border communities, and all individuals seeking to cross our borders.
TBC acts as the collective voice of border communities on issues that affect Texas- Mexico border region’s quality of life, commerce, and public policy. TBC is comprised of mayors, city council members, county judges, county executives, businesses, corporations, and community leaders. Collectively, we represent more than 2.5 million people who reside along the more than 1,250 miles of the Texas-Mexico border, from Brownsville to El Paso, Texas. We believe in the economic vibrancy of our border region; its potential to re-vitalize is dependent on cross-border travelers.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this important request. We look forward to a positive response on this matter.
Eddie Treviño Jr.
Chairman, Texas Border Coalition
County Judge, Cameron County, Texas
Copies of the letter were sent to:
The Honorable Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States
The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
The Honorable Esteban Moctezuma, Ambassador, Embassy of Mexico in the United States
Office of Public Engagement, The White House
The Honorable John Cornyn, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Greg Abbott, Texas Governor
The Honorable Raul Ruiz, Chairman, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and CHC Members
Karinda Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Partnership and Engagement, DHS
Charles L. Wollenhaupt, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Private Sector Office, DHS
Felicia Escobar Carrillo, Chief of Staff, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, DHS
Victor De Leon, Chief, Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of the Commissioner, DHS
Texas Border Congressional Caucus
Texas Border Legislative Delegation
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