Texan mayors threaten court to stop border fence By Robin Emmott
LAREDO, Texas (Reuters) – Texan mayors on the border with Mexico are threatening to take the U.S. government to court and are encouraging ranchers to do the same to block construction of a fence to keep out illegal immigrants.
Six mayors fear the planned fence, part ofWashington’s crackdown on illegal immigration, will hurt trade, split closely knit Mexican-Texan communities on both sides of the border and endanger wildlife.
Part of a federal plan to build 700 miles of barrier along the entire border, the fence will also cut off Texan ranchers’ access to the Rio Grande, the main source of fresh water in the region, the mayors say.
“We have to protect our property and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure there is no wall,” said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas, a former FBI agent.
A federal judge temporarily halted construction of part of the fence this week inArizonaon environmental grounds.
Since the failure of President George W. Bush’s immigration reform plans in June,Washingtonhas been focused on boosting border security and deporting illegal immigrants. Construction of the fence has already begun inCalifornia.
Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster said he had received hate e-mails from Americans outsideTexaswho accuse him of being soft on security. But the mayors argue there are better ways to stop illegal immigrants and drug traffickers.
“The perception in some parts of theUnited Statesis that you build a fence and then migration stops. The reality is that it will slow down migrants by three to four minutes,” he said.
One year ago: Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev compared the United States’ proposed 700-mile wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to the Berlin Wall during a visit to Chaparral Center at Midland College, Texas. I borrow a phrase from the blog ‘The Wall’ …
“Tortilla Curtain” or “Iron Curtain”.
We have a long way to go to resolve why anyone wants to risk everything to come to an ungrateful country. Yes, illegal immigrants are a strain on our health system, our government provided human services. In exchange, they go to work in places most young workers perceive as undignified. Yucky jobs that even the poorest Americans would turn away from or don’t have the energy to try. These enthusiastic pioneers step right in and roll up their sleeves without complaint, mostly out of fear. After improving their language skills, they move forward into their own service businesses. They are motivated and focused on upward mobility. Strange enough, they even send support back to their families back home. They endure all the injustice America can dump on them. They pay more taxes than ordinary Americans, they are prey to crooked scams and believe the most despicable among us. They are profiled by police and set upon by bigoted youth gangs. Yes, crooks cross into this country, too. They become targets for America’s home grown crooks who resent intrusions into their turf. Illegal immigrants are the underbelly for our foundation service industries. We are only now beginning to feel the price of food left in the field. Get used to it. Get used to cleaning up your own hotel room, paying more for child and elderly care and mowing your own lawn. These immigrants leave a poor system that offers respect from their peers to a ‘rich’ system that treats them like garbage.
Oh yeah, they must be crazy. Send them back to Mexico, Guatamala, El Salvadore, Honduras. Lets start recruiting replacement workers from your family. Start now. The wages will surely improve because you are an American. Someday you will earn enough to get that iPhone.