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Trump wall: why both Democrats and Republicans condemn it

People the Texas city of Laredo, with opposing political views, believe that the wall will negatively affect the environment, says "Voice of America".

Photo: Shutterstock

Former border guard Daniel Perales has spent hours waiting for hours in ambush at the mouth of the Socata River, a tributary of the Rio Grande, listening to the crackling of reeds as trespassers across the Mexican-American border broke into the United States.

Now he listens to the canaries singing and is worried about building a boundary wall here.

“We don't need a wall that will inevitably affect the environment, birdlife and wildlife,” Perales says. - I think this is an aggressive, intrusive intervention. Besides, people will stop coming here to enjoy the views. ”

Perales says he voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and plans to do so again. Political preferences did not prevent him from joining the ranks of the Laredo residents who oppose the construction of the border wall here.

“We don't need this, we have a natural barrier - the river,” he says. “I think if the existing infrastructure is added, the safety along the river will be ensured.”

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Less than a month before the US presidential election, resistance is growing again to the construction of the wall that was the centerpiece of Trump's 2016 campaign. In recent weeks, near construction sites in Arizona and California, Native American representatives have clashed with law enforcement over plans to build a wall on lands the tribes consider sacred. Opposing plans to build a section of the wall in Texas's Zapato and Webb counties, including Laredo, has brought together completely different people: street artists, multimillionaire Republicans, Catholic nuns, veterans of the US military and border guards, conservationists and Native Americans.

In Webb County, the U.S. Border Patrol has awarded $ 1 billion in contracts with three construction companies to build approximately 111 kilometers of the 9-meter steel wall, as well as to build roads and install cameras and other surveillance systems. In an August press release, Border Service officials said the wall at the Laredo site is necessary to prevent and prevent illegal border crossings and transnational criminal organizations to smuggle drugs and people.

However, the residents of Laredo, which is dominated by Democrats but also a large number of Republicans, do not support the construction of the fence. More than two dozen cities, counties and Indian tribes in the border region adopted resolutions against the project. Margarita Araiza, executive director of the Webb County Heritage Foundation, worries that the wall's construction could destroy or damage 250-year-old historic sandstone buildings and disrupt the cozy atmosphere near the Rio Grande, where residents often fish, picnic and walk.

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“Our historic architecture, our oldest landmarks, are on the way to this wall,” says Araiza. - Even if they are not destroyed, they will be permanently damaged. We are not only threatened by what is happening in the center of our city, but also in all the lands along the river, the border towns were built as close as possible to it, since the river is the source of water ”.

Not everyone in the city objects to the fence. Proponents say the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, located across the river, is a hub for drug trafficking and smuggling. The proposed boundary wall in Texas will pass through private land, which also creates opposition and fosters an alliance between large and small landowners.

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