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Federal Judge Rips IBWC During Hearing Over Construction Of Our Second Border Wall

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The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) has made it clear that they don’t like us, or that we’re securing our border by building walls. The IBWC is half controlled by Mexico. We have to get permission from them to build if we construct the wall near any waterways connected to Mexico. They’re making us jump through hoops that they haven’t made anyone else jump through. The federal judge ripped into them for that today. If you recall, the IBWC tried to stop us from building a gate at our first border wall in New Mexico because it ended at a dam on the Rio Grande River. We got the job done, though. This case will end the same way. We’ll get our wall in Texas built!

“McAllen, Texas — Despite District Court Judge Randy Crane’s befuddlement over the International Boundary and Water Commission’s (IBWC) treatment of Fisher Industries, contracted by non-profit We Build The Wall to construct a border barrier in Mission, TX in the Rio Grande Valley, the group still won’t be able to build for at least another week.

“I’m concerned that different people are being treated differently,” Crane said to Dr. Padinare Unnikrishna, the IBWC’s Chief of Engineering Services.

Unnikrishna testified for the federal government against Fisher Industries Friday in a hearing that was supposed to decide whether a previous injunction levied by the court would be lifted, allowing the group to build a crucial 3.5 miles of border wall in an area highly trafficked by cartel members and illegal border crossers. The venue for the hearing is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Despite Fisher Industries’ compliance with every demand made by the IBWC, and the fact that the IBWC appears to be putting Fisher Industries through the ringer, the court was still bound by The Treaty of Nov. 23, 1970, which gave power to the IBWC to make the final say on who and what can be built in flood plain areas of the Rio Grande Valley.

After coddling by the federal government’s attorneys, Unnikrishna was torn to shreds by Fisher Industries’ lawyers, and eventually Judge Crane himself. Two main topics were at issue: why Fisher Industries was required to provide 1D and 2D environmental impact models for the IBWC to examine when other private organizations have not had to jump through such hoops, and why the IBWC seemingly delayed notifying Fisher Industries of those requirements for more than one month.

“No private organization has ever been required to [provide 1D and 2D models to the IWBC], to the best of your knowledge?” Crane asked Unnikrishna incredulously.

Unnikrishna couldn’t point to a single example, though he said it was common for government organizations like U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide such information to the IBWC.

The gate at the end of our first wall in New Mexico. IBWC tried to stop us from building it because it connected to a dam on the Rio Grande – Photo by Jeff Rainforth for WBTW

Crane pushed, demanding to know what guidelines the IBWC uses to decide what environmental modeling it requires of builders in flood plain areas. He asked about a local shopping mall, which apparently did not have to provide 2D modeling to the IBWC. Then he asked about local residents who build structures or fences on their own property, and whether they had to provide such environmental impact modeling to the organization. Unnikrishna couldn’t define the parameters, eventually agreeing that he does not know “where the line is drawn” by the IBWC.

Intermittently, Crane questioned Unnikrishna about his dealings with Fisher Industries.

Fisher Industries met with the IBWC in El Paso, TX, on Oct. 3, to discuss proposals for a border barrier at the current job site. It wasn’t until more than a month later, in mid-November, that the IBWC told Fisher Industries it would have to provide them with the environmental impact modeling. By that time, land was already being cleared, and the federal government sought an injunction against Fisher Industries and We Build The Wall. The latter organization was eventually dropped as a defendant in the case. Judge Crane seemed perturbed, noting that Unnikrishna and the IBWC likely knew Fisher Industries’ intentions to build a bollard wall on the land, and thus should have informed them of the requirements to build such a structure.

The totality of the testimony was quite suggestive, painting the picture that the IBWC might intentionally be building its own barriers to purposefully slow or halt Fisher Industries’ progress on securing the border at its current job site.

Judge Crane called it a potential due process issue, but was forced to defer to the Treaty, which only allows for building in flood plain arears once the IBWC signs a letter saying building is permitted. After a half-hour recess during which attorneys for all parties were called to Crane’s chambers, Fisher Industries decided to save its witnesses for a continuance hearing next Thursday. The temporary restraining order was upheld, though some land-clearing orders were modified.

The IWBC, which is half-controlled by Mexico, and half-controlled by the United States, has not exactly been friendly to Fisher Industries or We Build The Wall. Combined with the local social justice brigade, the private organizations looking to close the border for the good of the American people have been met with stiff resistance.

Also party to the lawsuit are the National Butterfly Center (NBC), a nature preserve run by an avid leftist by the name of Marianna Trevino Wright, and a second private company, Neuhaus & Sons. Part of the North American Butterfly Association, NBC owns property near Fisher Industries’ worksite, which is on land owned by Neuhaus & Sons. It is concerned with the environmental impact that a wall would potentially cause, and Friday called a witness to testify about those concerns.”

Story compiled by Jeff Rainforth for We Build the Wall, Inc. Follow Jeff on Facebook for live border videos & coverage.

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Mexican Protesters Block American Border Traffic In AZ, Demand Virus Screening

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I’m pretty sure the irony of the situation isn’t lost on anyone.

“Protesters on the Mexican side of a border crossing with Arizona blocked southbound lanes Wednesday demanding the Mexican government require health screening for travelers entering from the United States to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A group called the Sonorenses Por la Salud y la Vida (Sonorans for Health and Life) parked two trucks in the vehicle lanes leading away from the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry connecting the twin border cities of Ambo Nogales at around 1 p.m. Less than a dozen protesters, donning masks and gloves, held up signs that either read #QuedateEnCasa (#StayHome) or called on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to up his response to the outbreak.

“There are no health screenings by the federal government to deal with this pandemic,” Jose Luis Hernandez, the leader of the protest, told the Arizona Republic. “That’s why we’re here in Nogales. We’ve taken this action to call on the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to act now.

Last week, both the U.S. and Mexican governments banned all non-essential travel across the border, with some exceptions for medical emergencies, work and school. U.S. Customs and Border Control have ramped up medical screenings at U.S.-Mexico ports of entry, including the one admitting people into Ambos Nogales, Ariz.

Protesters said Mexican officials haven’t taken the same degree of precaution. The state of Sonora deployed health officials to several border crossings, including the DeConcini Port of Entry, but only has staff stationed at pedestrian lanes, USA Today reported.

Mexican Public Health Secretariat staff have also set up tables near the border crossing where they hand out literature about COVID-19, provide hand sanitizer and offer temperature screenings, Nogales International reported. It is not required to have your temperature taken to pass through a port of entry into Mexico.

The blockade shut down all southbound traffic at the DeConcini Port of Entry for hours until it was eventually reopened around 5:30 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Nogales said. Officers with the Nogales Police Department redirected traffic to the Mariposa Port of Entry on the west side of the city.

“Nogales Police anticipates demonstrations may continue tomorrow. The closure of any Port of Entry will negatively impact commerce and the way of life in Nogales,” the city of Nogales, Ariz. said in a statement Wednesday night.

Border towns have been concerned about the transfer of infection across country lines. The number of confirmed cases in Arizona spiked to over 400 Wednesday, the state department of health services said, with new cases in Santa Cruz County, where Nogales is located. Sonora has recorded only 19 cases across the Mexican state.

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CHECK DONATIONS:
We Build the Wall, Inc.
PO Box 131567 Houston, Texas 77219-1567

The official wall fundraiser & construction site is at www.webuildthewall.us
Follow Brian Kolfage on Twitter HERE
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Contacts:
Jennifer Lawrence – Communications Director
[email protected]
Cell: 845-800-1552

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Border Wall History Made Once Again & This Time It’s BIG

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We the People have made history AGAIN in record time and for record low cost. We’ve proven to the government how powerful and effective private enterprise is in building a border wall in the worst crossed areas. This portion of the dangerous Rio Grande sector is now safe because of YOUR donations and commitment to securing our southern border.

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We have more border wall to build and land ready for us to build it on.

DONATE NOW TO BUILD THE WALL WITH BRIAN KOLFAGE, CLICK BELOW:

CHECK DONATIONS:
We Build the Wall, Inc.
PO Box 131567 Houston, Texas 77219-1567

The official wall fundraiser & construction site is at www.webuildthewall.us
Follow Brian Kolfage on Twitter HERE
Like his verified Facebook page HERE

Contacts:
Jennifer Lawrence – Communications Director
[email protected]
Cell: 845-800-1552

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