Economic and business leaders from McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico criticized the border security plan put forth by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX). In a meeting one day following McCaul’s visit to the border region, the business leaders met and said that people living along the border need to be consulted in any plan to secure the border.
“Perhaps McCaul, of Austin, who is chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, should have stayed in town a few hours longer to hear how folks here really feel about our neighbors to the south,” wrote The Monitor’s editorial board. “Because if a wall were to be built here it would send a wrong message and goes counter to the inclusive dialogue that business leaders and elected officials in South Texas have gone out of their way to espouse.”
The editorial quotes Keith Patridge’s, president and CEO of the McAllen Economic Development Corp, description of McCaul’s plan for border security. “There’s a feeling in the United States that we have an insecurity on the border and the Republican Party was saying we need to tighten up border security. And there’s a lot of people across the country who feel that way,” Patridge said. “Unfortunately, it impacts us because we recognize the interaction and cross-border relationship between our communities.”
The Monitor also criticized politicians who “parachute in for quick peeks and photo ops and 15-minute press conferences” as not getting the full picture of what is going on in the border region. Breitbart Texas’ Managing Director Brandon Darby was equally critical of McCaul’s border visit in an article by Ildefonso Ortiz on Monday. Darby said politicians like McCaul and others should “skip the Potemkin village tour” and actually talk with Border Patrol agents who understand the real situation along the border.
McCaul had claimed the Rio Grande Valley Sector, that includes McAllen, is “the most wide open unprotected sector that we have on the U.S. – Mexico border.” Darby contradicted this stating, “He’s dead wrong about the RGV sector. In fact, he’s substantially wrong about his border security approach across the board.”
“Breitbart Texas has spent considerable time in each of the nine sectors on the U.S. border with Mexico,” Darby explained. “The Laredo Sector is much more open and under-secured than the RGV Sector. The same is true for the Del Rio and the Big Bend Sectors. Parts of the Tucson Sector are mountainous and frighteningly wide open. This politician is either woefully uninformed or he is just grandstanding — as many politicians have done regarding the RGV Sector.”
The editorial board wrote, “We agree with United Brownsville Executive Director Mike Gonzalez who said on Monday that a solution to the immigration crisis requires greater inclusion of border communities as well as a bi-national, integrated border control approach with economic development alternatives.”
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.