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Congressman Gonzalez Demands Real Flood Control Infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley

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Texas Border Business

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) today sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump in response to the allocation of taxpayer dollars for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to construct a six-mile levee system in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

“This move from the Administration is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “Physical barriers along the Rio Grande will actually increase flooding risks in a region still recovering from devastation and already prone to flooding. I ask the Administration to reassess its priorities and redirect its time, energy, resources and federal funds to flood control projects. The President should not undermine the safety and well-being of residents in the 15th District of Texas with deceitful attempts to push his border wall agenda.”

Read the full letter to President Trump here:

November 26, 2018
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump,

I am reaching out to you regarding the disingenuous use of taxpayer dollars on the Southern Border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to construct six miles of a levee wall system in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. This is a blatant attempt to misappropriate authorized funds in order to build a wall that will neither secure our border nor mitigate flood risk in the region. As you well know, the construction of a wall between the Southern Border of the United States and Northern Mexico will increase the risk of flooding. This will lead to the destruction of private property and will needlessly put human life in harm’s way. Moreover, this is a violation of the 1970 Boundary Treaty. The Treaty states that both U.S. and Mexico officials on the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) must agree if one side wants to build a structure that might affect the flow of the Rio Grande or its floodwaters.

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Many parts of Texas are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, as well as subsequent storms that resulted in Federal Disaster Declarations, and we are doing so with or without the aid of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If we do not prioritize the construction of flood control projects like the Raymondville Drain today, the Rio Grande Valley will continue to suffer massive devastation and loss of human life in the case of another Category 3 hurricane or storm. If we fail to reinforce the Valley’s ability to manage stormwater runoff, the American taxpayer will continue to foot the bill for disaster relief and rebuilding. Instead of recognizing that drainage has long been a priority for South Texas, your administration seems to plow forward with a wall that will exacerbate flooding, all the while knowing that these designs previously flooded other areas of the country. As an attorney, I find this gross disregard deplorable and irresponsible. On the contrary, we can work together to make this avoidable while taking meaningful action.

If your administration cares about the wellbeing of over a million South Texans and this country’s financial health, you will expedite the completion of authorized U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects like the Raymondville Drain and invest in infrastructure proven to protect American people, property, and pocketbooks. I support strengthening our nation’s borders in meaningful ways, not wasting taxpayer money on harmful, symbolic displays of might. I welcome you to reach out to my office if you should come to your senses.

Sincerely,

Vicente Gonzalez
Member of Congress

Congressman Gonzalez Demands Real Flood Control Infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley

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