State Rep. Terry Canales’ office released a letter Thursday from the Rio Grande Valley Texas legislative delegation opposing the national emergency declaration made by the president last week, according to a news release.
“The Rio Grande Valley Texas Legislative Delegation stands united in opposition to Presidents Trump’s national emergency declaration that could result in hundreds of miles of new border wall in Texas,” Canales said. “It is imperative that our leaders in Washington D.C. focus on the reality of the situation on the border and not the politics.”
The president’s declaration came on the same day that he agreed to sign a new spending deal for fiscal year 2019 that kept the government open through the fall after a more than 35-day partial shutdown left several hundred thousand federal employees working without pay.
Signing the letter opposing the declaration with Canales were State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, state reps. Alex Dominguez, D-Brownsville, Eddie Lucio III, D-Brownsville, Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande City, R.D. “Bobby” Guerra, D-Mission, Oscar Longoria, D-Mission, Armando “Mando” Martinez, D-Weslaco, and Sergio Muñoz Jr., D-Palmview.
“We are concerned that this latest effort by the president to propagandize the situation on the Texas-Mexico border only seeks to misconstrue the current situation on the border, and could actually lead to federal dollars being moved away from proven strategies of border control to solutions that are being driven by the politics of our president,” the letter reads in part.
“President Trump was elected on a campaign promise to build a border wall, without using taxpayer dollars.”
The letter goes on to state that as border Texans, the delegation is worried that the national emergency could entail the taking of private property through eminent domain.
“We are concerned that the current process for eminent domain will not properly protect the rights of Texans, many of them who have owned this property since before the founding of this great state,” the letter states in part.
In addition, Canales said the Valley is unique in that it has experienced border wall construction in the past.
“Our communities have seen border wall construction in the past, and we know first-hand that the eminent domain system used by the Federal government is deeply flawed,” Canales said.
READ THE FULL LETTER