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Texas Holds Immigration Hearings

By Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter

Richardson, TX – Bill Zeeble, reporter: Local and state law enforcement officials are still trying to figure out how best to deal with illegal immigrants. Some say they cause serious crimes and cost governments money, others say problems are not that serious, and illegal immigrants pay taxes. Either way local officials must talk to federal authorities, because Corrections Chairman Jerry Madden says only federal officials determine the national status of jailed inmates.

State Representative Jerry Madden: If we're doing things correctly within the state or if we have state agencies and federal agencies that are not talking to each other and not doing what they need to be doing.

Zeeble: Before the hearings began, many immigrant activists outside urged caution. Manuel Rendon, a college student, wants state lawmakers to wait for federal immigration reform.

Manuel Rendon, student LULAC: Not just dealing with who are here illegally, but if we're going to seal the border, then at the same time let's also solve how to fix the 1.4 million applications being put on hold.

Zeeble: Yet others say all illegal immigrants should be deported, and not just those already in jail. More hearings are expected, but no location or dates have been set. A Committee report is expected this fall. Bill Zeeble KERA news.