Mari Saugier, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Jan. 11, 2006
Nine leaders from local Hispanic organizations joined hands as they announced peace marches in Laredo and Washington, D.C., to protest the proposed wall between Mexico and the United States Tuesday night at a midtown taqueria.
Representatives of the South Texas Amigos de Mexico, the Coastal Bend Immigration Council, the American GI Forum, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Contra-Minutemen Coalition condemned the “wall of shame” and said it would do little to stop immigration.
“We’re building a wall instead of tearing walls down,” said Nancy Vera, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens #4444. “There has to be a way that we can help Mexico, help the people who are already here and live in harmony.”
The cost of building the 700-mile long wall is an estimated $2.1 billion, money that could be better spent hiring more Border Patrol officials and purchasing better equipment, said Joe Ortiz, national civil rights director of the GI Forum.
He also pointed out the irony of the situation in the possibility that the extensive building project might utilize cheap, undocumented labor — the same labor the wall would be built to keep out.
Officials should put more resources into legalizing hard-working undocumented workers and allowing them to bring their families to the U.S. without all the red tape that can delay immigration for years, said Coastal Bend Immigration Council Director Santa Gonzales.