Despite being rabidly conservative and having the second-highest number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., Texas doesn’t want Trump’s ‘big, beautiful’ border wall along its southern border.
A Majority of Texans Oppose the Wall
According to a poll from Texas Lyceum, 61 percent of Texans are against building the wall, while 62 percent believe immigration can help their state more than it can hurt. Moreover, 62 percent of Texans oppose Trump’s plan to deport millions of illegal immigrants that live and work in the U.S.
The survey’s findings are big surprise as lawmakers in the Lone Star State largely back Trump’s anti-immigration policies. However, Texas congressional Republicans are starting to oppose big federal spending on the border wall.
Earlier this week, Rep. Michael McCaul (R.-TX) sided with Democrats when he said he refuses to “write a blank check” for the wall. The lawmaker pledged to put some conditions to ensure that the construction is fit for purpose.
McCaul voiced doubt that a 1,200-mile-long concrete wall on a 2,000-mile long border would prevent illegals from entering the U.S. Another congressional Republican from Texas, Rep. Will Hurd, said he wants more info on the structure before unlocking the needed funds.
Hurd and Rep. Martha McSally from Arizona sent a letter to the Dept. of Homeland Security, expressing their concerns over the construction as their districts cover 880 miles of the border.
Building a Border Wall Could Turn into a Logistical Nightmare
Furthermore, building and finishing a border wall on the Texas-Mexico border will be a daunting task for several reasons. The border is incredibly long and it is located along a snaking Rio Grande. Plus, Texas has agreed with Mexico not to build anything within the river’s flood plains. And there is also the problem that most border land belongs to private individuals.
After more than a decade, local authorities haven’t been able to finish the 1,300-mile-long border fencing designed to prevent smugglers and illegals from crossing the border on foot. The construction was authorized via the Secure Fence Act of 2006 by the Bush administration. According to a 2009 report, the fencing cost on average $3.9 million per mile or more, depending on how challenging the terrain was.
More recent parts of the construction have been more costly, with some segments costing $6.5 million per mile. A concrete wall could cost more than $10 billion if we take into account Rio Grande and the steep terrain in some parts along the border.
In addition, for the border fencing, the federal government sued hundreds of Texas property owners as they refused to cede their land for the construction. The lawsuits cost the government $15 million by 2012.
Many people refused to cede their land as it had been in their family for generations. Most of land owners have been compensated, but more lawsuits are pending. The border fence cut off many local residents who now live behind the wall facing Mexico.
Contractors in charge with building the fencing agree the entire deal was a logistical nightmare and they expect things to get worse with the concrete wall.
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