Members of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Immigration Reform Task Force met Sept. 17-18 in El Paso for a southwest border tour and briefing. The goal of the El Paso tour was to see the current border situation in an up close and personal way. The group included county officials from various other states whose knowledge of the border situation had been from distant reports prior to this visit.
The task force visited several facilities managed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), including the Paso Del Norte Port-of-Entry, the Border Patrol's Satellite Processing Center, and Border Patrol Station, El Paso. The itinerary also included a tour of the border itself along the Rio Grande Levee/La Hacienda Gate area, as well as traveling into Ciudad Juarez to tour a refugee center.
NACo's Immigration Reform Task Force provides a forum for county officials from across the nation to discuss immigration and its impact on local governments. Although it does not vote on or set policy, this task force advises NACo's policy steering committees on immigration matters and engages on these matters with federal agencies and coalition partners. Given the central role of county governments in ensuring the health and safety of all members of local communities, and that Texas' ports of entry are critical to regional economic development, county leaders are important stakeholders in discussions related to federal immigration policies.
The task force has already issued a policy statement calling on Congress to work on a bipartisan basis on immigration reform. The entire policy statement with contact information is available here.
For more information on NACo topics and advocacy, please contact Paul Sugg.