McKINNEY, Texas -- Collin County Commissioner Mark Reid read the e-mails out loud to News 8 to prove how many of his constituents he had chiming in on the current immigration crisis.
I felt like it was good to get out in front of the issue, particularly because the interest is evidenced by the response from constituents, Reid said.
The response he received prompted him to draft a resolution titled In Support of Ending Illegal Immigration. If approved, it would be Collin County s bold statement against housing the Central American immigrant children.
But Alex Camacho s statement would also be bold.
Camacho, executive director of the Baptist Immigration Center, is a long-time advocate who has been fighting for immigrant families in court since the late 1980s. His office is in Collin County, in the city of McKinney.
He said it s hard to turn his back on children.
If you could speak with them, you will see that in the beginning, when they try to say what happened, they start shaking and crying, Camacho said.
Reid tells us he feels for these kids, too, but said it sets the wrong precedent and puts law-abiding citizens in danger. The county commissioner told News 8 the biggest concern he, and a lot of the constituents who have contacted him have, is medical.
We ve heard reports that a lot of these children have various communicable diseases that are fairly common in their country of origin, that are very uncommon here, Reid said.
However, research by UNICEF shows vaccine rates for diseases like measles are higher in some Central American countries -- including Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador -- than here in the U.S.
I believe that ignorance creates fear, and they don t know, Camacho said, adding that people are entitled to an opinion, and his work will continue regardless. He said he will keep fighting for families who are facing deportation.
But the commissioner will also be fighting for his constituents, who also have to fight misperceptions.
Everybody perceives Collin County to be prosperous and white, but there are a lot of people in Collin County that live in poverty; that suffer from low income, Reid said.
Reid wants to stress that the county has not been contacted to house immigrant children. But in the future, if it did, we may soon know where the commissioners stand.
The county commissioners court will take on the resolution in the coming weeks.