‘Easiest’ parts of Texas border wall already built, emails show


Internal Border Patrol communications, obtained by University of Texas law school professor Denise Gilman after a lengthy Freedom of Information battle and shared with the American-Statesman, reveal some of the political realities that drove construction of the $2.4 billion wall/fence authorized by the 2006 Secure Fence Act.

In a March 2007 email, a Border Patrol commander complained when he learned the wall would not be built in places where real estate costs were too high. “I advised that this would be operationally impacting,” Jeffrey Self wrote. “I was advised that funding and timelines are driving this deployment, not operational need, but they would do what they can.”

Self also complained when engineers said that because of flood plain issues, the fence would be built “a half mile to a mile north of the International Boundary.”

“I told them this was unacceptable,” he wrote. “They pushed back with timeline issues.”

There are 1,100 miles of Texas border that are unfenced, making the state ground zero for Trump’s plan for a border wall. The emails suggest that the Trump administration might bump up against the same difficulties, possibly made even more acute because the fence has already been built in many of the Texas locations with fewest objections from property owners, or flooding or other terrain issues.

“As money got short, contractors asked for the easiest miles to build on,” said Gilman, director of UT’s immigration clinic. “So now (the second of round of construction) will be harder.”

This is an excerpt from the American-Statesman’s two-part report on what Trump’s call for a border wall means for Texas.

Click here for the full story



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

At least 13 dead in duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, officials say
At least 13 dead in duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, officials say

At least 13 people were killed and several others injured after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized Thursday night on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, according to authorities. >> Read more trending news  Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said divers are going back in the water Friday in search of...
Hey, RNC. Forget holding the convention in Charlotte. Why not Moscow 2020?
Hey, RNC. Forget holding the convention in Charlotte. Why not Moscow 2020?

  Good Friday Austin: The Republican National Committee, meeting in Austin this morning, is expected to choose Charlotte, N.C., as the place where the party will renominate Donald Trump for president. From Katy Friel at Culture Map Austin : The Republican National Committee quietly convened...
2 Hill Country fires at combined 1,880 acres becoming mostly contained, officials say
2 Hill Country fires at combined 1,880 acres becoming mostly contained, officials say

Two Hill Country fires that ignited earlier this week are now burning a combined 1,880 acres but are becoming mostly contained, fire officials said. The Texas A&M Forest Service reported that the Smith-West fire, which began in Blanco County on Tuesday before spreading north into Llano County, is at 680 acres and is 90 percent contained as of 7:30...
Criner jury continues deliberations in Haruka Weiser murder case
Criner jury continues deliberations in Haruka Weiser murder case

Unable to reach a verdict Thursday, the jury in Meechaiel Criner’s capital murder trial will return to the Travis County district criminal courthouse at 8 a.m. Friday to continue deliberations. Criner, 20, has been on trial in the past two weeks for the April 2016 strangulation and sexual assault of University of Texas dance student Haruka Weiser...
OVERNIGHT: Motorcyclist critically injured in crash in New Braunfels, police say
OVERNIGHT: Motorcyclist critically injured in crash in New Braunfels, police say

A motorcyclist was critically injured early Friday in a crash in New Braunfels. New Braunfels police said the crash happened around 12:45 a.m. near Fair Lane and East Common Street. First responders arriving at the scene found an unresponsive 38-year-old man with life-threatening injuries, police said. The man was flown to University Hospital in San...
More Stories