Big Bend Gazette
June 3, 2011
[missed this story when it was initially published]
by John Waters
The proposed border wall/fence for Presidio County along the international boundary with Mexico has been scrapped, according to Department of Homeland Security officials.
Earlier last month during a speech in El Paso, President Obama declared the proposed fencing/wall as mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 “basically finished.”
In response to a query from the Gazette, Bill Brooks, Public Information Officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Marfa Sector said, “We have no fence under construction in Marfa Sector. The Presidio proposed fence will not be constructed.” Brooks added that a lack of funding doomed completion of the project.
In 2008 as mandated by the Secure Fence Act, the Department of Homeland Security announced six miles of concrete wall would be placed atop levees near the international bridge between Ojinaga and Presidio.
When cost estimates of $20 million per mile were received, the project was placed on hold. Precisely when the project was terminated is unclear, although Brooks confirmed no public announcement of the project’s termination was made.
Cynta de Narvaez of Terlingua exclaimed, “Yippee!” when told of the wall’s demise. “We used every method in any civilian’s arsenal—from hall meetings, to honking at placards, to letter writing, to using the media—to try to inform the agencies responsible for our security that the wall was irrational in every way, and they completely ignored us. If there is going to be mutual respect, then we must keep the relationship clean. They should be accountable to us for their misinformed policies; they should acknowledge their bad choices—and then we can all move on.”