While the 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border staffs 10,570 patrol agents, who constitute 49 percent of the United States Border Patrol, thousands of people illegally cross into Texas and other parts of the U.S. every year and their fates remain uncertain.

A June Senate immigration reform bill that would grant the 11 million undocumented U.S. immigrants immediate legal status and a path to citizenship and allocate $30 billion to Mexican border security sits idle in the House, and at least one local resident is frustrated.

“The congressmen are trying to make it difficult,” said Rudy Calooy, who teaches citizenship classes on Saturdays at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killeen. “I think the path of citizenship should be granted, should be given. They have to remember their parents were immigrants, too. Their parents went through hell to become American citizens.”

National lawmakers from Texas said laws should attract immigrants, but added that citizenship should be given only after specific border security initiatives are outlined and met.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, represents most of Bell County and is part of a group working on a bill to solidify the border, punish people who cross illegally, use an online system to identify legal workers and provide legal avenues to people who want to work in the U.S., according to a statement from his press office.

Opportunities at Fort Hood could bring more immigrants to the area, said his fellow Congressman Roger Williams, whose district includes Coryell County, part of Killeen and most of Fort Hood.

“We all feel like we live in the greatest state in America, but people are coming here,” he said. “You can’t blame them. … We want people to come to America; we want people to come to Texas. Let’s do it legally ... and let’s know who’s coming and who’s leaving.”

By the numbers

Killeen’s foreign-born population rose about 40 percent between 2000 and 2011, from 8,992 to 12,564 people, according to census data.

Among other security standards, the Senate bill called for continuous surveillance of the entire border, a 90 percent illegal crossing prevention rate, 700 miles of fencing and the hiring of 19,200 border patrol agents. Before unauthorized immigrants start a path of citizenship, 38,405 full-time border agents would have to patrol the southern border, and other benchmarks would be required.

“You talk to law enforcement along our border, they say we don’t need that many people,” Williams said. “The people who know best are our sheriffs and law enforcement people. We need to engage them.”

An estimated 1.65 million undocumented immigrants live in Texas, accounting for about 15 percent of the total U.S. undocumented immigrant population, according to Pew Hispanic Center data released by the Migration Policy Institute. Texas has the second-largest population of undocumented immigrants behind California’s 2.55 million. About 5 percent of Calooy’s 72 students in the citizenship class are undocumented, he said.

Immigrants, including undocumented ones, boost and drag different sectors of local economies, said Migration Policy Institute Senior Vice President Michael Fix.

“To the extent that undocumented immigrants take wages, the one group that loses out the most is other recent immigrants.”

To a lesser extent, immigrants also displace native workers who did not finish high school, Fix said. But lower production costs reduce the price of goods, and undocumented immigrants consume fewer health services than citizens.

School districts sustain the most financial burden from undocumented immigrants, Fix said.

“They might not be doctors, lawyers and scientists,” Calooy said. “These ones working in the field are the ones who feed the scientists, lawyers and doctors. Everything equalizes in that manner.”

Contact Brian Bradley at bbradley@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567

(3) comments


@ “The congressmen are trying to make it difficult,” said Rudy Calooy, who teaches citizenship classes on Saturdays at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killeen. “I think the path of citizenship should be granted, should be given. They have to remember their parents were immigrants, too. Their parents went through hell to become American citizens.”

I am so tired of some citizens of this country trying to lay a guilt trip on the ones who came into the country at the turn of the century and before, as if they did something wrong when they came into the U.S.

A big difference between arriving at Ellis Island 'legally' invited, waiting to be approved to enter into the country, being checked for diseases, making sure you had a job waiting (legal job, not another citizens) money in their pockets so they wouldn't be a hindrance on the country and the rest of the people, and since there wasn't welfare at the time ,not coming with the thought to live off of others, a big difference then stealing across one of our borders illegally.

One thing in particular this argument over the illegals, and some of our own politicians arguing against the citizens in their defense.
of who is trustworthy and who is capable of turning on the people.
It only takes once for me to learn, afterward I never trust that person or persons again.

There's that old term, sold their soul to the devil.


Secure the Border. The Rio Grande Valley is being overrun.

through May, FY2013

Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector Apprehensions (Source: DHS/CBP)
FY2011 59,243
FY2012 97,762 +65%
FY2013 projected 151,531 +55%

Border Patrol Apprehensions (Source: DHS/CBP)
FY2011 340,252
FY2012 364,768 +7.2%
FY2013 projected 415,678 +14.0%


August 4, 2013

Definition, Undocumented – correct pronunciation – Illegal. Now why would a person in their right mind want to spend 30 Billion dollars to 'give' the 11 Million 'Illegal Aliens now residing in this country a free pass. I don't care what misnomer you give it, 'When they crossed our border – illegally – they were guilty' and no amount of time, or generous language will ever compensate for their guilt. Yes the Congressmen are trying to make it difficult. Hurray for them. They entered this country illegally and no language such as 'Through no fault of their own' is going to correct that fact. It's been said that 'we were immigrants ourselves. The difference is 'if you look at the ships manifest all along the Atlantic coast and landing documents – our forefathers were not illegals, they came seeking a better life than that afforded them in their country of origin, or put another way, they were invited. I don't think they should be 'granted' citizenship. You have to 'earn' citizenship. Citizenship is not something you can attain 'if you stay in this country long enough'. Another thing, 'What is Mexico doing to curb the illegal traffic into this country'?

No, this country is being over-run with illegals. They are coming in to this country at the rate of 1 Million plus each and every year. Then you place the 'illegal' population over that. I don't think you should ever allow someone who entered this country illegally a 'free pass'. Fill the sky with Drones, heat sensors, vibration monitors all along the border.

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