Illegal immigration is not just an issue for border cities, but is now growing exponentially on the outskirts of the Houston area. A new study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) warns about an explosion of growth in an area of Liberty County. "A serious concern is that many of the thousands of people moving into the six communities known as Houston El Norte are not lawfully present in the country," says Ken Oliver, the study's author. "No one in their right mind wants for that area to become a sanctuary for illegal immigration."
Oliver tells KTRH the number of illegal immigrants among Houston El Norte residents is currently in the thousands, and is headed toward the tens of thousands. That, he predicts, will place additional strains on county resources and especially the nearby Cleveland Independent School District. Both the county and school district are already facing massive fiscal and population growth pressures.
The TPPF has shared the report with the Trump administration and Liberty County leaders, encouraging more cooperation with federal immigration authorities. "If there's any area in the country that needs the cooperation of local, federal, and state law enforcement, it's that area of Liberty County, where there's this exponential growth with a lawless element in it," says Oliver.
The report concludes that weeding out the illegal element in Houston El Norte will not only curb out-of-control growth, but will help the legal immigrants and other American citizens who live there. "We've found that most of the people (in Houston El Norte) are working and contributing to the economy," says Oliver. "And the people that live in the communities themselves want those bad actors out."