As Valley border fence work begins, questions resurface
- By Juan Castillo, Austin American-Statesman, TX
Is it possible to build a border wall without the help of the very people it is intended to keep out?
That's an open question all along the border, and especially in the Rio Grande Valley, where the wall is widely unpopular but is now becoming a reality. Although the 70 miles of planned fencing in the Valley still faces legal challenges, work on the first segments began late last month, leaving some of its critics resigned to the project.
Valley longtimers have cracked wise about the barriers, saying they not only won't thwart illegal immigrants intent on entering the country but that illegal labor will probably help build them. An estimated 8 million illegal immigrants already work in the U.S., and according to a Pew Hispanic Center report, about 1 in 5 were in the construction industry in 2006.