DHS to waive environmental laws for Cameron County border fence
The Department of Homeland Security announced that they would be waiving the environmental laws to fill in the gaps along the border in Cameron County.
An announcement Los Indios resident, Concepcion Weaver, and other residents in the area say they have not been notified about.
"If you're going to give it away or he's going to take it away, I don't think that's right-- it's property that we worked for," Weaver said.
Weaver has been living in her Los Indios home for more than 50 years and says since the construction of the border fence in 2008, her property has not been the same.
"They're putting gates but it's still the same thing, you have to go around them and everything," said Weaver. "It's like you don't have a property no more, you can't get to the property just jump the levee you can't do what we used to do."
According to a map by the Center for Biological Diversity, the areas DHS intends to fill for the border fence are in Brownsville, Rancho Viejo, La Paloma, Blutown, Santa Maria and Los Indios.
In section 2 of the DHS notice, it states that the gaps being filled will be at areas in the county with high illegal entry.
"What's happening now is that these gaps are exploited by the smugglers once these gates are installed and completed it will contain the smuggling traffic south of the border wall," said Los Indios Mayor Rick Cavazos.
Cavazos says with the city's close proximity to the river they experience spikes in smuggling activities in several occasions.
With cities like Los Indios being small and having few resources he says with the gaps being filled in will help bring more security to the area that will keep residents safe.
"For this particular area it wont be a new border wall from what I understand it's just going to be closing the gaps --the installation is just going to finish what was started back then," he said.
Mayor Cavazos says the gaps that will be filled may will look similar to the gates that are already installed throughout the border wall.