With the discussion around illegal immigration reaching a fever pitch, one city has decided to cave to mob-like protests and allocate nearly a quarter of a million dollars to provide legal help to those who may face consequences for being illegal residents.
Earlier this week, Austin City Council voted 9-1 to approve giving $200,000 in ‘emergency funding’ to Catholic Charities of Central Texas to provide legal assistance for illegal immigrants who may be facing imminent consequences. The charity already serves in that capacity – although with the recent increase in ICE activity, requests for assistance have skyrocketed.
Only one councilmember, Ellen Troxclair, voted against the expenditure, saying the job of helping illegal immigrants is one for nonprofits – not city government. She also went on to say that the purpose of enforcing immigration was driven by a legitimate safety concern – and that rhetoric on both sides is fueled by fear.
This brought on an emotional response from fellow councilmember Greg Casar, who has made a name for himself lately with his partisan grandstanding in favor of illegal immigrants. Hypocritically, he accused Troxclair – because of her fiscal reservations over the use of city funds – of ‘playing politics’ with the issue.
“Providing legal services to illegal immigrants is the role of local charities, not the city’s already strained taxpayers,” Troxclair said in Facebook statement following the vote. “Many believe that this Council puts illegal immigrants above citizens’ concerns about safety and economic stability. A refusal to acknowledge these fears, as well as a failure to address the underlying causes, only serves to divide our community and prevent productive policy making.”
If municipalities stuck to proper governmental roles such as enforcing already existing policy, the discussion would not be nearly as heated as it is now.
However, because of runaway partisanship flying in the face of the law, much of the state’s legislative energy this session will be spent combatting rogue officials such as these – who would use their citizens tax dollars to protect those who clearly lack a respect for the law.
In that sense, it is more vital than ever to keep pressure on lawmakers to put a decisive end to municipal policies that endorse such scofflaw practices.