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Presidio mayor Comments on proposed border wall

by jdgarcia | January 26th, 2017 under Big Bend Blog » Big Bend Blog Highlight

Presidio, TX – President Trump’s executive order to construct a wall along our nation’s southern border is a short-sighted political move that will not stop illegal immigration, nor will it do the hard work of alleviating the causes of why people choose to make a dangerous trek to be in our country in the first place. Illegal immigration has been a part of the daily existence for those of us who reside on the border for quite some time. In the Texas Big Bend and in the deserts of northern Mexico, the choice to make the journey northward has often been tempered by unforgiving heat, mountainous terrain, and an extreme lack of water. Yet, many still choose to try and make it, but this portion of the border generally discourages large-scale movement of undocumented immigrants.

Many Texas state-elected officials also oppose building a border wall in the Texas Big Bend. The Rio Grande River’s course through this region was determined by geology, ultimately causing a south-flowing river to abruptly turn northward, then, eventually again back to the south. To consider constructing an unbroken barrier through the Big Bend, along the Rio Grande would be impossible because of the region’s naturally-occurring obstacles. In addition, the river is fed by many arroyos (creeks) that would require gaps in the wall structure to allow floodwater and debris to flow freely into the river after flash floods.

Then, of course, consider the blight on the landscape a border wall would cause in Texas’ last frontier: The Big Bend. Farm to Market (FM) 170 in Presidio is considered one of America’s great scenic river and desert drives. Lajitas Resort is built with the river and a breathtaking mountain backdrop as its essence. Santa Elena Canyon and Boquillas Canyon, both in Big Bend National Park show us the magnificent work of nature, and also how these landmarks are shared by two nations. Just a few years ago, the crossing to Boquillas del Carmen re-opened and is a safe, enjoyable part of any visit to Big Bend.

The story behind the story here is that the border wall does nothing to address why illegal immigration is occurring. Working on that problem is much more complex and seemingly of no interest to the present commander-in-chief.

Finally, the border is simply an imaginary line that separates two nations. In Presidio’s case, the border lies in the middle of the channel of the Rio Grande. On the other side are many relatives and friends of ours who live in Ojinaga, Mexico. The river merely runs through the middle of our two communities; it brings us together.

I look forward to the day when the U.S. and Mexico can again celebrate what we have in common, as well as our differences. China built a wall to keep out invaders. The Berlin Wall was built to imprison those who lived inside it. The U.S. border wall is envisioned to keep out those whom we for years have lured here—for our enjoyment of cheap labor, and their chance to have a second chance.

John Ferguson

Mayor

City of Presidio

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One Response to “Presidio mayor Comments on proposed border wall”

  1. Ascension says:

    No one is against immigration. That is a given.

    So your argument is entirely about ignoring immigration laws in favor of illegal immigration, I suppose because you don’t like the laws. I’m pretty sure you probably don’t advocate the breaking other laws.

    And your argument turns superficial when you say the cure of the problem is to address why people want to sneak into the country unseen, and then you add, “Working on that problem is much more complex and seemingly of no interest to the present commander-in-chief.”

    That’s demonstrably false as seen not only by his continual assertions that illegal entry poses threat to U.S. citizens in this time when terrorists roam freely and when entire terrorist states target us with such threats. Is that not a reason sufficient to you?

    LEGAL immigration will always continue between the U.S. and Mexico and why would that hamper the connections of friends and families on both sides there in Presidio? Surely you’re not suggesting they are crossing illegally to make such connections now. Why would they do that?

    I’m not sure I get your argument. It’s sorta like saying that all reasonable citizens of Presidio drive the safe speed limits on your streets, but you object to the speed limit law because, well, maybe sometimes citizens just feel they need to drive 80 mph.

    Sorry. That’s how the argument looks.

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