If Congress agrees on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, it will probably include a requirement to erect fencing that would wrap more of the nation’s nearly 2,000-mile Southwest border in tall steel columns, reports the Associated Press. The mandate would double down on a strategy that U.S. Customs and Border Protection isn’t sure works. The prospect of the government’s seizing more land offends many property owners in the southernmost tip of Texas, where hundreds of people lost property during the last fence construction spree.
“I’m still totally against it,” said Aleida Garcia, whose land was taken back in 2008, when this hamlet surrounded on three sides by the Rio Grande was slated to get a U-shaped segment of fencing. Garcia would rather have more agents patrolling the area. At least that would create some jobs, she said. Three Democratic congressmen from the Texas border who support immigration reform have announced they would not support any bill conditioned on the construction of more border fence. The Senate’s immigration bill calls for at least 700 miles of border fencing — half of which already exists.