A report from the Department of Homeland Security stated south Texas border communities may be the first to receive sections of President Donald Trump’s planned wall.
A DHS planning document revealed sections of the Rio Grande Valley Sector to be considered as “high priority” areas for the first sections of the border wall. Those communities include the towns of Rio Grande City, McAllen, and Weslaco, the Washington Times reported Monday. Other priority areas identified include the El Paso, Tucson, and San Diego Border Patrol Sectors.
The prioritization is based upon the border’s proximity to urban areas that allow illegal immigrants to quickly disappear after crossing the border, according to the DHS document “made public” by Democrat staff members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the Washington Times stated.
The plan calls for an additional 100 miles of border wall to be added to the pre-existing 700 miles of fencing.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials cautioned these are preliminary plans and are subject to change.
Rio Grande City Mayor Joel Villarreal said his community is in favor of securing the border. He told the Washington Times he prefers a combination of technologies and physical barriers.
The mayor’s city is no stranger to the many problems created by an unsecured border. In September 2016, Breitbart Texas reported on the arrest of a Rio Grande City police officer who allegedly assisted drug smugglers in their efforts to rip-off Gulf Cartel smuggling shipments through the area. In April 2015, another Rio Grande City police officer ended up behind bars after Homeland Security Investigation special agents arrested him in a similar scheme. Breitbart Texas reported extensively on other border related crimes occurring in and around this tiny border town.
The mayor of Mission, Texas, scene of some of the largest numbers of illegal border crossings since 2014, said he looks forward to a wall. “Everyone who lives along the river is afraid,” Mayor Beto Salinas told the D.C. newspaper. “The best thing that could happen to us is that we go ahead and build the fence and see if we can stop some of the illegals from coming across. It’s not just one or two of them, it’s 20 or 30 of them at once, every night.”
The leaked document revealed preliminary plans to add 34 miles of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley and replacing 28 miles of barrier fencing in the San Diego area. Officials estimate spending nearly $1 billion in real estate acquisitions in the current fiscal year. In fiscal year 2018, which begins on October 1, plans call for building an additional 71 miles of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley, Tucson, and El Paso sectors at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion.
CBP spokesman Carsol Diaz clarified the FY 2018 spending, stating the $2.6 billion includes funds for technology and tactical infrastructure as well as border wall design and construction funding. “Specific details will accompany the release of the complete budget in mid-May,” Diaz told the Washington Times. “Until prototypes are completed and evaluated and design determinations are made, CBP cannot provide a more detailed estimate of the total cost of border barrier system.”