EL PASO — County commissioners are opposing construction of a wall along the nation’s southern border with a resolution.
The El Paso County Commissioners Court voted 3-1 Monday in favor of a resolution that calls for stopping the building of the border wall and says local law enforcement officials should not enforce federal immigration laws.
The resolution also emphasizes placing a moratorium on immigration raids, ensuring the enforcement of labor laws and civil protection regardless of a worker’s immigration status and stopping programs that criminalize immigrants.
Commissioner Veronica Escobar said the commissioners aren’t advocating having open borders or not enforcing immigration laws with the vote.
“It’s very important we tell the federal government we want a voice in policies that impact our daily lives,” Escobar said. “If we allow federal or state policymakers to create policy that impacts us without expressing our own concerns, we are not doing our constituents justice.”
Commissioner Miguel Teran, who put the item on the agenda, said some current immigration proposals are based on racism.
“Nine-eleven (the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001) came in from the north, but we’re not building walls over there. We’re building them here,” he said.
The vote was preceded by mostly favorable comments about the resolution, which was first presented in another form last week by advocates of immigrant rights.
“You’re joining the ranks of many communities across the country that are saying we’re not going to be part of this anti-immigrant movement,” said County Attorney Jose Rodriguez.
Two people spoke against the resolution. Commissioner Dan Haggerty voted against it.
“If it’s not your job to enforce immigration laws, by God it’s not your job to hinder the enforcement of immigration laws,” Armando Cardoza said. “If you support this resolution, all you do is kick America right in the crotch,” he said.
The fence is intended to help secure the border from illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and terrorism.
A coalition of Texas border mayors and county executives stretching from El Paso to Brownsville oppose building of the border wall. Residents don’t want the fence cutting through their land and say it will keep them, livestock and wildlife from the life-sustaining river.
Good for these Commissioner to be taking the correct stand against all the hype and hysteria this debate has generated.