Fencing in the Rio Grande

The Rio Grande Guardian has obtained a copy of an April 20 memo from the Department of Homeland Security that outlines the first steps for getting land to build a border fence in Texas. Guardian editor Steve Taylor also has obtained a map of the proposed fence locations. He writes:

The memo and map have incensed Texas border leaders who thought they had an agreement with Chertoff that no new fencing would be erected without local input. Members of the Texas Border Coalition, an advocacy group comprising cities, counties, and economic development corporations, met with Chertoff in Washington, D.C., in January and Laredo in February.

“He (Chertoff) had given us a commitment that he would take it to the locals for their opinions before ever even thinking about the fence,” said Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas.

“Constructing a fence is not the answer — socially, politically or economically. Hidalgo County’s economic health relies heavily on our relations with Mexico. Furthermore, we already have a structure in Texas, and it’s called the Rio Grande.”

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