The Hidalgo County Drainage District board — made up of County Judge Ramon Garcia and the county commissioners — unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday making clear that they oppose President Donald J. Trump’s proposed border wall.
“This Commissioners Court is totally opposed to the construction of the border wall,” Garcia said.
The Drainage District board also approved a letter to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, who heads the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee. In the letter, the Drainage District clarified that Hidalgo County doesn’t support the border wall.
Hidalgo County had sent a letter to McCaul in February, suggesting the federal government work with the Drainage District on a border fence-levee. The letter approved Tuesday clarified that the Drainage District considers any plan to build a levee-border fence “flawed and ill informed.”
Garcia said Hidalgo County always opposed the border wall, but wanted to make the stance explicit after hearing concerns about the potential cooperation.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club, La Union del Pueblo Entero and ARISE asked the Drainage District to pass the resolution.
“Our communities are very safe, and we do not need a border wall that will separate families or will divide communities,” said Juanita Valdez-Cox, the executive director of La Union del Pueblo Entero.
Contrary to what some people in Washington or Austin — or even Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas — may think, Valdez-Cox said Rio Grande Valley residents aren’t afraid.
“We do not live in fear,” Valdez-Cox said.
Fern McClaugherty of the Objective Watchers of the Legal System, a conservative watchdog organization, asked the Commissioners Court to support the border wall.
“Obviously, I’m the only one here who’s for the wall,” McClaugherty said, adding that walls and fences keep people safe.
McClaugherty challenged members of the Commissioners Court to take down fences at their homes.
“Why do you have a fence around your property?” McClaugherty said. “Fences make good neighbors.”
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify the content of the letter the Hidalgo County Drainage District board sent to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul.