Weslaco In The Center Of Immigrant Hustle
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:59:04 GMT —
Its 45 miles from Weslaco to Brownsville, 16 miles from McAllen to Weslaco, and less than 10 from Weslaco to Mexico.
The city is a hop and a skip away from the Rio Grande and leaders here say they are dealing with the immigration influx just as much as their large city neighbors.
Mayor David Suarez, City Manager Leo Olivarez and Emergency Management Coordinator George Garrett are dealing daily with the immigrant hustle since a Border Patrol station is located right off the expressway and the DPS headquarters
is down the street.
Olivarez says, "One of the things that hasn't come out is that feds are involved in this but the state headquarters is located in Weslaco."
Even though women and children are being shuffled through McAllen and Brownsville detention facilities, the Weslaco station is seeing its fair share of so called "refugees" in addition to the regular immigrant traffic that comes through the
border in Progreso just south of the city.
Garrett says, "Our Border Patrol station is bringing in 1,000 detainees a day."
They've had to meet with state leaders as well to think of ways to assist the overflow and have spent roughly $14,000 helping with the efforts in McAllen. They say it's been a regional response to a regional situation.
"Many cities have stepped in to help," says Mayor Suarez.
But with their money being spent to help others, they're having to look at how to help themselves with their own Border Patrol station being inundated with detainees and additional staff.
"It's a big concern whether they are going to reimburse us," says Suarez.
While the heads of the city mull over their next step, they say the humanitarian need is the focus for now.