Sometimes I think I live in an entirely backwards state that does more harm than good. Other days I read stories like these that make me proud to be a Texan:
EL PASO, Texas — The country’s largest border city has decided to block efforts by federal authorities to use an access road that cuts across city property to work on existing border fencing.
The El Paso City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to block the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque district, from using the access road.
The vote, which City Councilman Steve Ortega described as “symbolic,” is the latest salvo by cities and property owners opposed to plans to build several hundred miles of new fencing in Texas.
“They haven’t made a case of why we need a new fence,” City Councilwoman Susie Byrd said after the vote.
Byrd said she was most concerned by what she described as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s lack of cooperation with local communities.
“The first time we’ve heard from them was today,” Byrd said.
In El Paso, Homeland Security officials have proposed replacing stretches of fencing near the city’s downtown that have been in place for well over a decade. There is also a plan to add new fencing that would cover more than a half-mile near one of the city’s international bridges.
…..Councilman Steve Ortega said the vote sends an important message about the city’s opposition to what he said was a symbolic attempt to secure the border.
“We met symbolism with symbolism,” Ortega said.
Austinites protested federal immigration agents presence inside Travis County jails Tuesday on the front steps of the building.
The group says giving Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, an office inside the county jail isn’t fair. So along with protesting, the group delivered a letter of protest to the sheriff Tuesday.
The crowd also took turns voicing concerns of racial profiling and of dividing families. Leaders are worried an increased presence of ice will compromise public safety. They say documented and undocumented immigrants will fear reporting crimes because they could be removed from the country.
Sheriff Greg Hamilton responded to their concerns, saying it’s his job to keep the community safe and that means working with other law enforcement agencies.