Immigration & BorderLocal NewsSmall Texas City Flooded with Illegal Immigrants, Mayor Seeks Help from Congress

Illegal immigration has majorly affected Uvalde, a small town almost 75 miles away from the border. The mayor heads to Washington, D.C. to plead for help.
June 18, 2019
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The continuing surge in illegal border crossings is not just an issue for Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In fact, a south Texas mayor reported last week that he has never seen so much foot traffic flood into his community.

Mayor Don McLaughlin of Uvalde, a small town roughly 75 miles from the border, is planning to take his pleas for assistance to the nation’s capital today.

In May, McLaughlin was informed that the CBP would start to release immigrant families into Uvalde communities, and even drop them off at local businesses.

“We have a good relationship with the Border Patrol and they told us they were overcrowded and have been told to release them in communities as they processed them,” McLaughlin told The Texan.

McLaughlin said that he and Bill Mitchell, the Uvalde County judge, told CBP they would refuse to allow the drop off in their community, as the small Texas town lacked the resources necessary to accommodate the influx and had already seen an overwhelming increase in illegal immigrant traffic.

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Uvalde is home to a border patrol holding facility, which was full at the time, and therefore could not accommodate more immigrants.

Border patrol made clear that if Uvalde officials didn’t have buses waiting for them when they arrived at the holding facility, they would drop immigrants in the parking lots of businesses like Walmart or HEB.

“We came up with a plan to use SWART [Southwest Area Regional Transit District] to transport them to San Antonio to the bus station because Uvalde doesn’t have the facilities to handle 20-30 immigrants a day.”

The town had to foot the bill for the transportation, inciting discontent from Uvalde residents.

Noting the increase in criminal activity affecting his community, McLaughlin said that Uvalde saw “five car chases in and around the city with two of those causing for our schools to be placed on lockdown.”

McLaughlin stated that one long-time Uvalde resident is so concerned with local safety that “his grandkids won’t even come over and swim at his house unless he sits out by [his] pool with his shotgun.” The local farmer is considering moving out of the area.

The mayor maintained that those causing trouble “are people who have issues getting in the United States.”

Citing health concerns and the lack of proper medical screenings, McLaughlin said, “We have had two cases of the mumps here put in quarantine and a third thought to have mumps [who was] put under quarantine.”

Mayor McLaughlin plans to plead for Congress to act at a press conference being held this afternoon in Washington, D.C. led by the House Freedom Caucus. 

He will be in attendance with three Texas Congressmen, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX-6) and Rep. Michael Cloud (R-TX-27) along with Hector Garza of the National Border Patrol Council. Also slated to be in attendance are several Angel Parents, who are family members of U.S. citizens who have been killed or murdered by criminal illegal aliens.

While not a member of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX-23) is not slated to attend today’s press conference despite being the representative for Uvalde.

The conference attendees will request Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House leadership bring President Donald Trump’s $4.5 billion border supplemental funding to the floor for a vote to provide additional resources to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border and in towns like Uvalde.

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Tony Guajardo

Tony Guajardo

Tony Guajardo is a reporter for The Texan. He has been involved in politics since the fall of 2012 when he served as an intern for the now-retired U.S. Congressman Charlie Gonzalez (D-San Antonio). He is a native of Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University.

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