Farenthold talks immigration, budget cuts

Keldy  Ortiz

March 26, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated March 26, 2013 at 10:27 p.m.

Congressman Blake Farenthold said he hopes local partnerships in the Crossroads will resolve funding issues for the Victoria air traffic control tower.

"We're trying to find out with the (Federal Aviation Administration) how much it costs to keep it open and see if we can come up with local partnerships to keep it open," he said.

The tower at the Victoria Regional Airport is among 148 other towers that are targeted for federal spending cuts.

At a town hall meeting at the University of Houston-Victoria's Alcorn Auditorium on Tuesday evening, the topics of conversation were up to members of the audience. But budget cuts and immigration dominated much of the discussion.

Mary Lou Canales, of Victoria, asked Farenthold about the future of immigration in the Crossroads. She wanted to know how he and his colleagues in Congress will tackle the topic.

"It's on my mind," said Canales, 63. "I want to know who an immigration bill will help in this country financially."

Farenthold replied, "There's no one proposal going. The hardest decision is what to do with people who are here now. I don't know. We actually need workers down in this area, which makes us a pro-immigration area."

The congressman also talked about how budget cuts, also known as sequestration, have affected the Crossroads. The expected funding cuts of Victoria's air traffic control tower April 21, he said, is an important issue.

"(Cutting funds) lowers the attractiveness of this airport for commercial carriers and lowers the number of flights that can come in and out every day," Farenthold said. "The military uses the airport for training purposes, but the military is not going to use a non-controlled airport."

County Commissioner Danny Garcia attended the meeting and voiced how he wants to see changes made to help future veterans when they return to the states from overseas deployment.

"I applaud him for coming down from (Washington,) D.C., to meet with us," Garcia said. "I hope he remembers the people at the town hall meeting and remembers the people who voted for him."



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