By Steve Neavling
Building a wall along the busiest stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border – the Rio Grande Valley – has proven to be much trickier than Donald Trump suggested during his presidential campaign.
That’s because land along the Rio Grande River in this area is essentially a floodplain where construction is prohibited under water treaties with Mexico. Much of the land also is owned by resident and businesses.
The Los Angeles Times examined communities along the river and found that erecting a wall presents a monumental challenge fraught with potential lawsuits from landowners, environmental groups and even Mexico.
Congress approved $1.6 billion in March to build a border wall and fencing along 100 miles of land in Texas, California and New Mexico. About 33 miles of that is in the Rio Grand Valley, where Border Patrol most needs the help.
But which border towns along the Rio Grand Valley get a wall is still unclear.
Israel Cantu Amador, who lives along the Rio Grande, said he’d rather see more Border Patrol agents than a wall.
“It’s nonsense,” the 65-year-old said. “Iron gates, wooden gates — they’re going to come through.”