The City of McAllen, Texas, spent more than $100 thousand in the month of June providing aid to illegal immigrants, just a small glimpse into how the influx is burdening local economies.
City and Hidalgo County officials expect that number to increase sixfold if the surge continues on through the end of the year, to $676,576, and to make matters worse, local governments still aren’t even sure feds are going to reimburse them.
Addressing the issue at a news conference yesterday, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling announced revised figures showing the city’s compassion cost $101,688 from June 6 through June 27, a startling 50% increase from the estimate previously quoted.
“The federal budget is about this thick,” Darling explained. “And they just don’t have a line on it for McAllen, so we’re trying to work through the budget process to see where funds would be available,” the mayor stated, indicating the city has no intention of cutting off aid.
As we have reported, after detainment and processing, Border Patrol agents drop much of the immigrant influx off at the McAllen Central bus station, where they wait to be transported anywhere in the interior they claim to have family.
In the meantime, immigrants can walk just a few blocks south to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, behind which the city’s Parks and Recreation department has erected several air-conditioned tents furnished with more than 20 cots each, in addition to mobile lavatory facilities. Additionally, the city has been transporting immigrants using metro buses to any of the various churches in the area.
Evidently, the influx caught the city off guard. When Infowars spoke with McAllen Emergency Management Coordinator and City Attorney Kevin Pagan, only one tent was in use, and the solution seemed temporary.
“Today, apparently, for some logistics reasons, some of them hadn’t had transportation arranged or their transportation is tomorrow, and we’re having to find places to shelter them for tonight, so we’ve accessed some resources that we have to shelter them here tonight,” Pagan told Infowars last June.
Since then, the city has put up more tents and is also paying to maintain them. “The city estimated the cost to McAllen and Hidalgo County would be $76,661 for emergency management to work on issues like loose tent tethering or broken air conditioning systems as they arise,” reports The Monitor.
The federal government’s failure to properly secure the border has also taken an expensive toll on other regions further inland.
“For example, in Brooks Co., Texas, which is 75 miles north of the Mexican border, county judge Raul M. Ramirez told Infowars that autopsies of dead illegal aliens are rapidly draining his county’s resources which were already meager after the oil & gas industry left town,” we reported last month.
The impact to local economies has led some districts, such as Laredo, to denounce digging into public funds. On Monday, Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas indicated he would no longer be diverting public funds to aid the influx in fairness to his residents.
“We’re strapped. We cannot put the local taxpayers in strain,” Mayor Salinas said. “We’re not going to raise taxes. If we use some tax money, and we’re tight for money now, are we going to get reimbursed? That’s the challenge that we face.”
Threats to the local economy were also specifically cited in a resolution recently passed by the City of League City, which mentioned “..the increasing volume of illegal aliens is already bankrupting some cities and counties in the State of Texas by overwhelming the local medical, educational, law enforcement, and judicial systems..”
As far as any of the affected areas receiving federal reimbursement, that might only happen if Congress approves Obama’s astronomical $3.7 billion dollar emergency request for aid, which does not look likely.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has also noted more federal funding is needed because at the “current burn rate,” his department “would need to divert significant funds from other critical programs just to maintain operations.”
Still, the official breakdown doesn’t indicate any type of reimbursement for border towns weathering the brunt of the immigrant wave.
Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry asked the House Homeland Security Committee for $500 million to repay the state for its contribution to border security since 2005, alluding that some of the money might go to local governments.
“..Texas should be reimbursed for the $500 million we’ve spent securing the border over the past decade,” Perry said. “We’ve been fulfilling a federal responsibility, and the hardworking people of Texas shouldn’t have to shoulder that cost on their own.”
“This is not the state’s responsibility. It’s not Arizona’s responsibility. It’s not New Mexico’s responsibility. It’s not [Gov.] Jerry Brown in California’s responsibility. We have a Constitution that clearly enumerates the powers that are supposed to be dealt with by the federal government.”
Homeland Security has been distributing illegals throughout the country, but with no immediate end to the surge in sight, the question remains: How long until the cost of the influx comes to your town?