MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — During the ongoing immigration debate, Marble Falls City Council members passed a resolution to make their feelings known. The group unanimously approved a resolution to urge the federal government not to set up an immigrant processing center there, even though the government has not made such a request.
“It would be very harmful to our community and the people that are living here,” said Mayor George Russell. “We can’t afford the expenses that come along with this. We’re just now beginning to survive a flood that we had in 2007, so our reserves are just barely getting back to where they should be.”
Russell says he knows the decision comes with mixed feelings.
“These people are refugees, they’re fleeing from volatile situations,” said Burnet County resident Vicki Stuart who feels money shouldn’t be the issue. “I can understand if they have some budgetary concerns, but they can apply for assistance from the state and federal government.”
But Russell says reimbursements can be slow and are no guarantee. “We have to protect the people that are here and the needs, housing, schooling, and food.”
He says the compassion is there, but their city cannot address the needs.
Marble Falls isn’t the first city in the state to pass this type of ordinance. Just about two weeks ago League City leaders, near Houston, passed their own version, despite no actual plan from officials to house and immigrants who had crossed illegally.
One of the items in the Marble Falls resolution calls on the state legislature to prohibit “sanctuary cities.” The term has no defined legal meaning but generally refers to a city that decides not to use city money or resources to enforce federal immigration laws.