IN-DEPTH: Immigrants are already your neighbors in Central Texas & you might not know it

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 02:00:49-05

Immigration is not a new concept in the U.S., but it's often met with some hesitation.

Since President Joe Biden became president, his administration boosted refugee admissions, preserving deportation relief for unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and not enforcing the “public charge” rule that denies green cards to immigrants who might use public benefits like Medicaid.


Gallery: Immigrants continue to sleep on the streets of El Paso trying to figure out their next step

The president's stance on the border has not set well with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

"All of this is happening because you have violated your constitutional obligation to defend the states against invasion through faithful execution of federal laws," Abbott in a letter to President Biden.

Immigrants are already your neighbors in Central Texas & you might not know it

In the letter that he hand-delivered in El Paso, Abbott asks to enforce the following.

  • You must comply with the many statutes mandating that various categories of aliens “shall” be detained, and end the practice of unlawfully paroling aliens enmasse.
  • You must stop sandbagging the implementation of the Remain-in-Mexico policy and Title 42 expulsions, and fully enforce those measures as the federal courts have ordered you to do.
  • You must aggressively prosecute illegal entry between ports of entry, and allow ICE to remove illegal immigrants in accordance with existing federal laws.
  • You must immediately resume construction of the border wall in the State of Texas, using the billions of dollars Congress has appropriated for that purpose.
  • You must designate the Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

Abbott’s office said he was not invited to attend the rest of the president’s tour of El Paso. Asked about his conversation with Biden, Abbott told reporters, “He said he wanted to work with us on it.”

There is a reality that in Texas and Central Texas, a large number of immigrants that have placed roots.

Nearly 14 percent of the United States population is composed of immigrants — and the majority of Americans today are here because of relatives who immigrated from other countries sometime in the last several hundred years.

Non-Profit new organization Stacker used information from Census data and compiled a list of the top countries that some Waco citizens are from.

On that list, it includes Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. All fall within the Top 20 — and that's where many continue to migrate from.

In Central Texas, many of them work in construction, hospitality, and own their own businesses.

Texas’ border operation was meant to stop cartels & smugglers. More often, migrants arrested for misdemeanor trespassing

The Texas National Guard members and state troopers have been along the Rio Grande and in border towns. Its design to catch Drug Cartel members has fallen short, according to data.

The Texas Tribune found that more often, troopers arrest men like Bartolo, a Mexican farmworker who came to the United States looking for work, according to his lawyers. They’ve also slapped cuffs on asylum-seekers like Gastón, a human rights attorney who said he fled Venezuela after being targeted by the Maduro regime for defending political opponents.

“As a migrant, I never imagined such a thing,” Gastón said in Spanish about his arrest and imprisonment, adding that he fled Venezuela to run away from a regime that was “going to lock you up and deprive you of your liberty.”

In El Paso many migrants have been camping outside a local church and bus station for weeks now. This past week many senators and President Biden visited the area. While some drove by where the migrants were, it's reported that none got out to speak with them.

"We need an immigration system that is safe, orderly, humane and legal," Sen. John Cornyn said.

Some have hope that Congress will work on immigration legislation, but many have a difficult time seeing the two parties coming together on the issues.