Valley Mayors, Border Patrol Discuss Proposed Locations for Border Wall
MCALLEN – New plans for more fencing are in the works for the U.S.-Mexico border.
A total of 35 gates are on the way to the Valley to fill in border fence gaps.
Related story: Special Report: Gaps along Border Fence
Some Rio Grande Valley families said they’re still struggling with the existence of a border wall. Many have decades of history and experiences.
Related story: Special Report: Life in the Gaps
Edinburg mayor Richard Garcia said he worries about his land being divided by the border fence.
"I still have property that's been in the family for 150 years. I'm one example… My family came to Edinburg in the 30s from Starr County,” Garcia told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.
Garcia and other mayors attended a meeting with U.S. Border Patrol to discuss proposed locations of more border wall.
"The wall meanders some, some places it's a straight shot were the river curves down quite a bit,” he explained.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they’re planning for the approval of 60 miles of new proposed levee wall and border wall system..
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported the planning is for the fiscal year 2018 budget.
When asked about several locations, Garcia said the wall will intersect with various Valley properties, including the Santa Ana Refuge in Alamo.
“They were showing us the proposed route. And at this time it's not final, you know, but they’re showing us the proposed route,” he said. “It shows that, there’s gonna be properties that it bisects, there’s going to be properties that are going to be left.”
Garcia said he wants more planning.
"I do not think we've taken enough time to figure out what whether it makes good financial and economic sense. That is what I oppose, is rushing into it,” he said.
Garcia hopes another meeting will be scheduled before the final decision is made.
This year, the shape of the fence will change when 35 new gates are added, which are included already in the budget for fiscal year 2017.