AP, December 3, 2008
Elected officials in El Paso are asking President-elect Barack Obama to scuttle federal plans to build hundreds of miles of fencing along the U.S. border with Mexico.
In a three-page letter to Obama dated Wednesday, officials from El Paso argue that the fence, a project approved by Congress in 2006, was ill-conceived and is an irresponsible expense while the country is in the midst of a recession.
State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, who has long opposed the project, said he believed existing fencing, including several miles of decades old barriers in El Paso, Nogales, Ariz., and San Diego, should also be removed.
Both Obama and [Senator] Clinton voted for the Secure Border Act, which authorized fence construction. [Governor] Napolitano has been skeptical of the plan, suggesting that a border fence would likely only create a cottage industry for ladders.