AnaLuisa Carrillo-Tapia thanked the Killeen City Council following its 5-2 vote to strike down a resolution prohibiting the city from providing refuge to immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border illegally.
Councilman Jonathan Okray drafted the resolution and presented it to the council during its Aug. 12 workshop meeting. The proposed document mandated the city to “refuse requests or directives by federal agencies to permit or establish any facility for the purpose of processing, housing or detaining any illegal aliens.”
Councilmen Jose Segarra, Juan Rivera, Wayne Gilmore, Terry Clark and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone agreed to strike down the proposed resolution. Okray and Councilman Steve Harris voted in favor of moving forward with putting it on a council agenda for a formal vote.
“I believe the five who voted against represented the community well,” Carrillo-Tapia said. “We want (the council) to hear our heart, that’s what community is about. You need to know what I want and what I need. If you don’t know that, then you can’t represent me.”
According to a report released this month by the Department of Homeland Security, fewer unaccompanied immigrant children are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
About 5,500 unaccompanied children were arrested in July, nearly half the number in May and June and the fewest since February.
According to the report, arrests of parents with children also dropped by more than half in July, to about 7,400.
Because of the drop, the federal government shuttered temporary shelters that were rapidly opened to handle the surge.
Killeen city spokeswoman Hilary Shine said the city has not received any requests for aid in housing undocumented immigrants.
Carrillo-Tapia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizen Council No. 4297, was joined at the meeting by several others who also thanked the council following its decision.
“These are children that need to be taken care of no matter where they come from,” she said. “If they are running from danger, who are we to say no? Who are we to say, ‘I’m not going to help you?’ We all move together or we don’t move at all.”