Border fence fight not overPosted: Updated:
The border fence is nearly complete but the fight is far from over. No one expects the newly constructed fence to come down but critics do want the U.S. Supreme court to take a look at the power granted the Department of homeland security to build the fence in the first place.
The Texas Border Coalition ( a group of mayors, county judges, chambers of commerce and business leaders who advocate on behalf of theor communities) filed a "friend of the court" brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider an appeal of a lawsuit.
Coalition members question Congress giving the Department of Homeland Security a waiver for 37 federal laws and by extension ALL local, state, and tribal laws that hindered building the fence -- including those protecting the environment and historic preservation. The overriding reason for the waiver: the urgent need to build the fence to protect the border.
The result was a backlash from a wide range of border residents, especially in Texas where much of the fence is on private land or cuts through close knit border communities. Many of those Texans bristled saying their concerns were brushed aside as the fence was built.
In it's brief the Texas Border Coalition argues the waivers" bulldoze wide swaths of unidentified state and local laws" and violate the constitution.
The chairman of the Texas Border Coalition, Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster ,in a news release put it this way: "Should the Supreme Court allow these waivers to stand without so much as an argument in defense of liberty, the justices will effectively confer upon an unelected agency chief limitless and unbridled power never dreamed possible by the authors of the Constitution."
The Secretary of Homeland Security is the focus of much of the anger about the border fence. Chertoff's is a name that's known to most border residents who watched a massive security buildup in their backyards.
Some of the Secretary's critics gathered in border communities from Tucson to Brownsville this past Saturday to celebrate the end of his term with a "retirement party." The invitation online pictured the Secretary in a straw hat, margarita in hand, a beach in the background.
One of the celebrations was hosted by the "No Border Wall" Coalition in in Brownsville where the Department of Homeland Security started clearing land for construction of the last stretch of the nearly 700 mile border fence.