Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cuellar: No money to build more border walls in Rio Grande Valley

Rio Grande Guardian
September 2, 2012
by Raul De la Cruz

RIO GRANDE CITY, September 2 - U.S. Henry Cuellar says an official from Customs and Border Protection has told him the agency does not have enough money right now to build border walls in Roma, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos.

Opposition from the general public to the border wall plans was evident at a public meeting in Rio Grande City on Wednesday.

“After holding extensive conversations with members of the Starr County community about U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) proposed 14-mile fence spanning Roma, Rio Grande City and Los Ebanos, I extended a formal inquiry to CBP requesting an update on the status of the proposed fence,” Cuellar said, in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

“I have received an official response from CBP stating that there are currently no plans to construct this fence due to a lack of available funding.”

Cuellar said that as CBP moves forward, he will “continue facilitating discussions between the agency and the community to help ensure that the concerns of the community are fully voiced and considered.”

The displeasure in Starr County with the border wall plans was evident at a public meeting in Rio Grande City on Wednesday evening. The U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission hosted the meeting to explain why it has given the go-ahead to CBP’s plans for three new border walls.

“It remains my highest priority as your representative to maintain the strength of our border and the security of our border communities. I will also continue fighting against the construction of the fence so this way we can have the right mixture of personnel and technology to better secure our border,” Cuellar added, in his news release.

Meanwhile, in other Starr County news, the North American Development Bank has announced it will hold a $450,000 grant signing agreement next week for a solid waste facility. Congressman Cuellar is slated to attend the event. It is scheduled for Tuesday, September 4, at 1:00 pm at the Starr County Courthouse Annex in Rio Grande City.

The grant signing will involve Starr County Judge Eloy Vera and NADB Deputy Managing Director Alex Hinojosa. NADBank says the grant will help Starr County finance part of its recently built solid waste facility, as well as to fund an operations and maintenance reserve fund and a repair and replacement reserve fund.

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