The panel discussion on immigration Monday evening at City Hall was lively. A crowd of about 50 people were in attendance, and many stayed until the end to ask questions of the panelists.
Reverend Dr. William Sappenfield served as the moderator and each panelist got approximately two minutes to answer each of Dr. Sappenfield's six questions. Panelists included: Curtis Collier--President of US Border Watch, Terri English--Director of Immigration Counseling and Outreach Services, Leslie Helmcamp--Catholic Charities of Central Texas, Edna Yang--Political Asylum Project of Austin, and Larry Youngblood--Texas Border Volunteers. The six questions were:
By 2010, it is estimated that over 50% of people living in Texas will be non-Caucasian. Why do you think some Texans fear this demographic change?
How well does building a wall help with the border problem?
Do you think the immigration laws in the U.S. need to be reformed? Which reform is most urgently needed?
The Hutto Family Residential Facility in Taylor, Texas has received considerable publicity in recent months. In your opinion, how close does the facility come to fulfilling its intended purpose?
Should all government services be denied to undocumented workers, or just some? How should the U.S. decide which services are appropriate to offer to undocumented workers?
What do you think would happen if the U.S. was able to send all undocumented workers home tomorrow?
As you can imagine, the panelists had varying opinions on each question, but they were all civilized and respectful of one another. There were newspaper articles on the panel on the front page of the Round Rock Leader today, as well as the Daily Texan on Tuesday. The panel was videotaped, so if you would like to view the discussion from your computer, click here.
The events surrounding Round Rock Reads! will end this Saturday with a brown-bag book discussion of The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea. The event is from 12-2 in Meeting Room B of the library. The library will provide dessert. Hope to see you all there!