The border crisis has made headlines nationally for months, with thousands of children crossing the border into America. The threat of that same problem has found its way to Brunswick County, so county leaders are taking what they call a pro-active approach to prevent negative impacts on taxpayers here.
If unaccompanied minors wind up in Brunswick County, elected leaders said the impact on the health and safety of local residents would be too great.
Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Monday night opposing the re-settling of immigrant minors within Brunswick County. The resolution was initiated by Commissioner Pat Sykes. They plan to send the letter to state and federal lawmakers.
The letter says, in part, "an influx of unaccompanied minors illegally immigrating to Brunswick County would hurt schools, health services, and all other county resources."
The statement also says Brunswick County does not have the excess resources necessary for relief.
County Commissioner Frank Williams says they wanted to take action before the problem gets to Brunswick County.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. By the time it becomes a direct issue here it would probably be too late for us to do anything about it," Williams said. "So we wanted to make our voice heard now and make the statement that we're here to stand for the people of Brunswick County and they come first in our eyes."
Hispanic leader Lucy Vasquez from Amigos Internacional in Wilmington said she hoped resources would soon be made available for those in need.
"Commissioners look at what they have available and if there are no resources well then there are no resources for Brunswick County," Vasquez said. "I don't know what it's like for other counties, but what's going on at the border is tragic and I hope that resources will become available to meet the needs and that responsibility shouldn't be solely placed on the government."
Frank Williams said some may view the move by commissioners as one that lacks compassion.
He countered that argument by saying that the most compassionate thing to do is to reunite the children with their rightful families.
At the state level Governor Pat McCrory, along with several other governors, sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to secure our country's borders, and to also protect the children caught in the middle of the crisis.
Meanwhile, President Obama has said his administration needs more flexibility to deal with the surge of children illegally crossing the border.
At this point, it's not clear if Congress will be able to pass an immigration deal before the summer recess.
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