Denver councilwoman visits US border operations in Texas for closer look at immigration issue

Denver awaits word on grant to house 60 children

DENVER - A Denver councilwoman got a firsthand look at the situation surrounding the rush of children from Central America.

Councilwoman Susan Shepherd visited McAllen, Texas, on Friday to join faith, law enforcement and elected leaders from Colorado and Texas for a roundtable conversation on immigration and the current humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The roundtable discussion followed a tour of facilities in McAllen organized by the Christian Community Development Association to help address the situation of unaccompanied minors at the southwestern border. 

Shepherd's trip comes as Denver waits to hear back from the federal government on a grant request to house 60 immigrant children.

Shepherd told 7NEWS she was most touched by the compassion shown by groups in Texas helping to house the children.

"They've really set the bar and shown us what the standard is, and of course we've had our own ongoing debates over the immigration issue and the need for reform," said Shepherd.

Shepherd said she hopes that Denver residents will look past the children's immigration status and welcome them to the city -- if that grant comes through.

In a statement, Shepherd added:

"My biggest take-away from my time spent at the border in McAllen was how compassionate the response was from all entities, including the public and non-profit sector and the faith community. I was inspired by their grace, strength & commitment under fire. Not one person complained. McAllen has set the bar very high. I hope that if Denver is chosen to receive some of the unaccompanied minors, that we too will rise above the endless squabbling over immigration issues and recognize that these are humans fleeing horrible conditions in their own countries and in desperate need of safety, basic life necessities and compassionate and respectful treatment."

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