February 13, 2009
Staff and AP Reports
Raul Grijalva, Yuma County's U.S. representative, is among eight Democratic congressmen asking for a halt to new border fence construction.
In a letter to President Barack Obama this week, the eight U.S. representatives asked for a suspension of fence construction until an evaluation of border security operations being conducted by the new administration is finished.
Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat whose district includes Yuma County, was unavailable for comment to The Sun this week.
But his press secretary, Natalie Luna, told The Sun the letter is "in no way to stop the fence from being built or impede national security issues."
Luna said the letter asks the president to review the issues in border counties and hear concerns from local residents, Native American tribes and local law enforcement. It asks the administration to look over the situation to make sure the right choices are being made.
The letter, signed by all eight lawmakers, said there are places where fencing is feasible. But the members wrote that the previous administration's policy of using fencing along much of the border was ill-conceived because local communities and local Border Patrol chiefs didn't have "meaningful input."
Also signing the letter were Texas Reps. Solomon Ortiz, Silvestre Reyes, Ruben Hinojosa, Ciro D. Rodriguez and Henry Cuellar, and California Reps. Bob Filner and Susan Davis.