Washington, DC – Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22) today acted to give local communities more input in the process to house unaccompanied immigrant children. Olson introduced H.R. 6553, the Our Communities, Our Choices Act, which would give communities a voice in the federal decision-making process on where to host Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) crossing our southern border. It will require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to give municipalities advanced notice if they are being considered as a location to house these children.
“We have a duty to care for the children who enter the United States without a parent or guardian as we determine a path forward for them,” Rep. Pete Olson said, “However, when deciding where to locate these children, the federal government should consider the impact it will have on local communities. Local officials in Texas and across the nation deserve a voice in this process as it might impact their limited resources. We’ve also seen in recent weeks that these sites can become flashpoints that local officials should know about well in advance. I urge the House to act quickly to pass this bill.”
“I applaud Congressman Olson’s continued leadership in support of local control for our cities,” Alvin Mayor Paul Horn said. “Too often do local municipalities bear the weight of federally mandated programs that, while are well intended, put undue burden on local governments to take on individuals they are not prepared for. By allowing local leaders to have direct input on this very delicate process, we remain better equipped to serve the citizens under our care – including those most vulnerable.