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  1. #1
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    County Judges go to Austin to oppose border security wall

    County Judges Mike Fernandez, Pepe Aranda go to Austin to oppose border security wall

    May 10, 2007
    By David A. Diaz
    Special to LIVE!


    Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas, center, on Wednesday, May 2, emphasized opposition from border leaders to plans by the federal government to build a border wall that could disrupt commerce between Texas and Mexico without increasing homeland security. Salinas was joined at a State Capitol news conference by numerous political and business officials, including, from left: Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen; Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville; Salinas; Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, D-San Benito, and Rep. Tracy King, D-Eagle Pass. Hinojosa, a U.S. Marine combat squad leader during the Vietnam War, called the proposed barrier "The Wall of Shame".
    click to enlargePowerful state officials have joined border leaders in roundly condemning plans by the federal government to build 153 miles of fortified fences – a border wall, as critics prefer to characterize it – mostly in deep South Texas as part of an immigration reform strategy that some say suggests racism.

    The so-called border wall is supposed to help the federal government better control the flow of undocumented immigration into the U.S. from Mexico, and possibly make it more difficult for terrorists to get into the country. Opponents of the border wall to be built in Texas believe there are much better ways to reduce illegal immigration and improve homeland security, such as by increasing the number of U.S. Border Patrol officers and implementing high-tech security measures in the state.

    A wall will send the wrong message to the world, and would create havoc along the state's border region, contends the Texas Border Coalition, an alliance of elected officials and economic development leaders representing more than two million border residents.

    On Wednesday, May 2, TBC brought their message to the Texas Capitol, securing the support of the state's top legislative leadership, and the organization hammered the federal government for proposing the barrier, especially without the local input of border communities.

    "Today marks a sad day for Texas and for our country in that we are being forced to tolerate a massive wall that will bring serious economic, economic, and psychological damage to those of us living on both sides of this proposed location," said Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville. "Texas is connected to Mexico via 23 bridges. Through these bridges, we maintain our centuries-long blood-ties and friendships with Mexico, as well as our growing trade and tourism that benefit this state and this entire country. While our international bridges were built to better connect us, this wall will serve solely to divide us."

    Lucio, who spoke at a May 2 Capitol press conference called by TBC, charged that "this wall is an affront to our culture, to our trade, and to our freedom by the federal government, and especially by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and by Secretary Michael Chertoff, who promised us input before any decisions to build this wall were made in Washington."

    Although Chertoff did not immediately respond, the federal government now says the proposed border wall is still in the development stage, and no final decision has been made on where it will be eventually located. The concerns raised by TBC also caught the attention of Texas' two U.S. senators in Washington, D.C.

    Following the TBC news conference, U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn on Wednesday, May 2, called on DHS officials to work with Texas border leaders on any plans for construction of fencing and security barriers along the border. This call for cooperation by Cornyn and Hutchison follows concerns about inadequate communication from federal officials to local officials along the border, according to a joint announcement made by the two Republican lawmakers.

    Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, called the proposed barrier "The Wall of Shame."

    "This wall is really has a tinge of racism, that is why I call it 'The Wall of Shame,'" Hinojosa said during the TBC press conference. "(The 911 terrorists) didn't come from Mexico. They came from Canada. I ask, 'Why do we not put up the wall along the Canadian border? It is less secure than the Mexican border.' Quite frankly, it is because they are not Mexican."

    Hinojosa, a U.S. Marines combat squad leader in Vietnam, said what the federal government is proposing for Texas "is a 'Wall of Shame' that has stained the reputation of our country and our democratic principles."

    Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, who serves as TBC chairman, said the planned wall has made border leaders "more united than ever, on a mission to protect the Texas border."

    "No one wants border security more than we do. However, we support security that is smart, takes advantage of our natural geographic barrier – The Rio Grande River – and doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past," Foster said. "Building a wall along the Rio Grande River accomplishes none of these goals."

    Foster said the Texas border with Mexico is unique "because we are the only state that has a river as a boundary line. What works in Arizona may not work in Texas."

    He said a border wall has far-reaching implications, not just border security and immigration concerns.

    "There are a lot of issues at stake: private property rights, the millions of dollars we invest in the hunting, fishing and birding industries in Texas, not to mention our own border communities," he said. There have been years of federal, state, and local government cooperation to improve the Rio Grande River, and a border wall can affect (water) runoffs."

    Foster said TBC "is asking state leaders, who have a stake, to help us in Washington, D.C. , to achieve a right kind of border security that works for Texans and Texas."

    Other leaders who joined Lucio, Hinojosa and Foster at the TBC May 2 press conference in Austin included Rep. Verónica Gonzáles, D-McAllen; Rep. Eddie Lucio, III, D-San Benito; Rep. Tracy King, D-Eagle Pass; McAllen Mayor Richard Cortéz; Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas; Zapata County Judge Rosalva Guerra; Rio Grande City Mayor Kevin Hines; Hidalgo City Councilmember Guillermo Ram*rez; Dennis Nixon, CEO of International Bank of Commerce of Laredo; Mike Allen, TBC vice-chairman, of McAllen; McAllen Police Chief V*ctor Rod*guez; and Bill Summers, president and CEO, Rio Grande Valley Partnership.

    The other elected officials on TBC include: Brownsville Mayor Eddie Treviño, Jr.; Cameron County Judge Carlos H. Cascos; Edinburg Mayor Joe Ochoa; El Paso County Attorney José Rod*guez; El Paso Mayor John F. Cook; Hidalgo Mayor John David Franz; Laredo Mayor Raúl Salinas; Harlingen Mayor Richard Rodr*guez; Maverick County Judge José Pepe Aranda; Mission Mayor Norberto Salinas; Pharr Mayor Leopoldo Palacios, Jr; Roma Mayor Rogelio Ybarra; Val Verde County Judge Mike Fernández; and Weslaco Mayor Joe V. Sánchez.

    Legislative Media reports on major legislation that affects the Texas border region.


    http://www.swtexaslive.com/node/4116
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    "No one wants border security more than we do. However, we support security that is smart, takes advantage of our natural geographic barrier – The Rio Grande River – and doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past," Foster said. "Building a wall along the Rio Grande River accomplishes none of these goals."
    The Rio Grand is not a natural barrier. Crap, you can float or swim across it. Gee, even ride an elephant across it, while a mariachi band blares out tunes to your arrival.

    Why do these people make up such foolish statements to justify their open border policy?

    Building a wall will accomplish more security!! And that is what Americans want!!

    Dixie
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  3. #3
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    Dixie wrote

    The Rio Grand is not a natural barrier. Crap, you can float or swim across it. Gee, even ride an elephant across it, while a mariachi band blares out tunes to your arrival.



    Dixie you should have been a political cartoonist,
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    Senior Member NoIllegalsAllowed's Avatar
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    You're worried about the fence stopping commerce between Texas and mexico? What commerce would be stopped? Nothing legitimate would be affected so I assume you're defending your drug and illegal alien smugglers.
    Free Ramos and Compean NOW!

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