Congressman Gonzalez Issues Public Comment in Opposition of a Physical Barrier on the U.S.-Mexico Border

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Texas Border Business

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) recently submitted official correspondence to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to the agency’s public comment period.

“Opposition is an understatement,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “My stance remains the same, if not stronger. I have utilized this public comment period to add an additional resource in the fight to prevent this waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Read the full letter below and the full comment to CBP here.

November 6, 2018

Sent via email: mailto:[email protected].

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20229

Dear Sir or Madam,

It is my privilege to represent the 15th District of Texas and its rich, diverse communities, economies, and wildlife. Communities on the southwest border share a relationship with Mexico like none other. Since elected to Congress, I have remained firm in my opposition to the Administration’s plans to line the U.S. – Mexico border with additional fencing and physical barriers.

Walling off our border will endanger wildlife, threaten our relationship with our southern neighbor, and put American homes and businesses at risk. While I agree that we must invest in border security and stem the flow of illegal immigration, moving forward with this plan will come at a great cost to communities in the Rio Grande Valley. The benefits of a physical barrier will be minimal at best.

After this year’s series of floods and severe weather events, South Texans need the federal government to reevaluate its priorities and consider more pressing needs. Our communities need the federal government to invest in flood mitigation, resiliency, and drainage infrastructure, not a wall that would heighten the risk for future devastation and economic downturn. No wall is worth letting our fellow Americans’ health, well-being, and livelihoods hang in the balance. We should instead employ surveillance technology, replace outdated cameras and sensors, and work with Central America and Mexico to encourage migrants to stay home.

Today, Tuesday, November 6, 2018, as part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) public comment period, I submit official correspondence concerning the cultural, diplomatic, environmental, and economic impacts of constructing a physical barrier on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Enclosed is a compilation of materials that identify and articulate key arguments that merit further consideration as planning continues. The outline is as follows:

I The border wall will have a detrimental effect on U.S.-Mexico relations.
II The border wall will be an inefficient and unnecessarily costly method to deter illegal immigration.
III The border wall will lead to economic and agricultural losses.
IV The border wall will endanger our public lands and wildlife.
V The border wall will create a flood hazard.
VI The border wall will result in our citizens losing private land through the takings clause, and there is a palpable history of our citizens not being paid just compensation.
VII The border wall will infringe on the property rights of Native Americans along the border.

As you review, analyze, and thoroughly process this document and all other public comments submitted to the record, I request that you contemplate whether a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico Border would be a wise investment of taxpayer money and what kind of return we might see. Today I implore you to thoroughly examine this information and consider whether the risks outweigh the rewards.

Regards,

Vicente Gonzalez
Member of Congress