El Paso

Commissioners approve resolution supporting Dreamers; Haggerty lone vote against

Commissioners pass resolution...

EL PASO, Texas - Commissioners Court passed a resolution on Monday supporting the immigrant community including DACA recipients and their families.

However, not everyone was on board.

County commissioner Andrew Haggerty was the lone vote against the resolution.

“I think the name of the resolution should be changed to ‘County Super Happy Fun Time,’" Haggerty said. “I don’t think resolutions for the County is the time to do this. I don’t think it’s the County’s role to have this fight. It is other people in government’s role.”

The resolution was proposed by commissioner David Stout. He said he worked with city representatives Alexsandra Annello and Cassandra Hernandez Brown, to come up with the resolution. This resolution will also be read during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

“The County of El Paso remains committed to protecting our rich and vibrant immigrant community and stands with young immigrants and their families to ensure their integration into our society," Stout said.

Haggerty said his vote is not indicative of his beliefs when it comes to immigration. 

"This has nothing to do with my stance on immigration. My stance on immigration is that our immigration system is absolutely broken and needs to be fixed, but it's not my role to fix it," Haggerty said. "I have a $400 Million budget to fix roads, jails, courts and hospitals and do the things that we need to do."

County Judge Veronica Escobar said she respected Haggerty's opinion, but said she sees things differently.

"I personally do see a value to taking a position on an issue like this that has such a direct impact on the community," Escobar said. "The Commissioners Court has always taken a position on  issues impacting our border community."

Dozens of members of the Border Network For Human Rights (BNHR) were in the audience. 

After the resolution was passed, four DACA recipients shared their stories with the Court.

“We want a permanent solution. We want the Dream Act passed with a permanent pathway to citizenship,” DACA recipient Lesley Saenz said.  “We deserve to be fully integrated into our communities, our cities, our states.”

Fernando Garcia, the executive director for BNHR, was thankful for the resolution.

“The language of this resolution is very important,” Fernando Garcia said. “We are going to take close to 50 Dreamers in the next few weeks to Washington and we want to take this resolution there, because that’s what is going to matter. They’re going to ask us what the local citizens, the local counties are doing.”

The resolution, a symbolic or ceremonial vote for support, does not allocate any county resources.


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