Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Border fence construction halted for hours due to protest

El Paso Times
December 17, 2008

EL PASO - A lone protester at the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park temporarily halted construction of the border fence Wednesday, setting up a standoff with the Border Patrol.

Bill Addington, another activist at the site in the Lower Valley, identified the protester as Judy Ackerman of Northeast El Paso.

"There's a group of us of about 25 out here, but she's the only one on the construction site itself," Addington, who also served as Ackerman's spokesman. "We believe the Border Patrol is going to seek an arrest warrant to have her removed."

El Paso Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier said it was likely an arrest warrant will be sought through the U.S. attorney's office and federal courts. Ackerman was a founding member of Friends of the Rio Bosque and a member of the Sierra Club.

Conservationists have argued the 15-foot, steel-mesh border fence, will upset the park's ecological balance.

Department of Homeland Security officials said the federal government is constructing the fence along 670 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

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