Commissioners Court request the federal government that no minors be transferred to local facilities without a funding agreement

Ruben Cantu-Rodriguez

Ballinger Ledger

BALLINGER– The Runnels County Commissioners Court issued a resolution last Tuesday morning, August 26, 2014, requesting the federal government that no minors be transferred to local facilities, unless local entities have reached specific funding agreements with the federal government.

The resolution, voted unanimously, demands that local governments including cities, counties and school districts should be fully reimbursed for all costs incurred in the housing, education, and maintenance of such minors.

The resolution is issued taking into consideration the current influx of unaccompanied minors across the southern border of the United States.

“The current influx of unaccompanied minors across the Southern border of the United States has overwhelmed the capacity of the federal authorities to process these persons in an efficient manner,” the document reads.

The resolution also states that federal law requires a judicial proceeding to determine whether minors from Guatemala, Honduras, or San Salvador are the victims of human trafficking or gang violence before deportation.

“The housing of these minors while awaiting required proceedings for deportation may severely strain local resources and impose an unsupportable burden upon local taxpayers… the care and custody of these minors is a responsibility of the federal government.

“The Commissioners Court of Runnels County, Texas does hereby request that no minors be transferred to non-federal facilities unless the affected local governments, including cities, counties, and school districts, have approved the transfer and contractual agreements have been executed by the federal government to fully reimburse such local governments for all costs incurred in the housing, education, and maintenance of such minors.”

According to Customs and Border Protection, beginning last year and specifically in the last few months an overall increase in the apprehension of unaccompanied alien children from Central America as been seen at the Southwest Border, specifically in the Rio Grande Valley.

In Fiscal Year 2014 the number of unaccompanied children in the 0-17-years-of-age range spiked 100 percent compared to prior year, going from 31,491 to 62,998. Roughly 78 percent of those underage children are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.