U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez
Editor’s Note: U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez represents New México’s Congressional District 2, wrote a letter on Oct. 26 to Texas Governor Abbott regarding the Texas-New Mexico concertina wall:
I write today to denounce the construction of your Texas-New México concertina wall and demand the immediate removal of this unconstitutional barrier.
The right to travel in the United States is enshrined in our constitution. According to section one of the Fourteenth Amendment, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” (U. S. Const. amend. XIV). Our Courts have long recognized this amendment as the right to free domestic movement without governmental abridgment. Put simply, this amendment allows American citizens to travel freely to and from U.S. states. Also, it supports interstate commerce, including the movement of goods and services for agriculture, gas, oil, transit and many others that are vital to our economy.
Given that this wall limits travel for citizens and has the potential to hamper the movement of Texas- New México interstate goods and commerce, New México should have been consulted. That was not the case. This interstate barrier was erected without input from a single official from the state of New México. Furthermore, not a single impacted stakeholder or elected was consulted in this process, including the International Boundary and Water Commission – the Commission responsible for the U.S-México boundary and the enforcement of water treaties.
As an elected official representing the state of New México, this is concerning. But even more concerning is the danger the wall poses for Americans to travel to hospitals, first responders’ timeliness in responding to a crisis, and delays for the U.S. Border Patrol crossings to the border.
Your wall is unconstitutional, but above all, it endangers the lives of Americans. I call for the immediate removal of this barrier and urge you to work with Congress on real solutions to protect Americans.
U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez represents New México’s Congressional District 2.
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