MISSION, RGV – La Unión del Pueblo Entero members presented a petition to Mission City Council on Monday in opposition to Mayor Norberto Salinas’ stance on the border wall.
Salinas recently told The Washington Post he was in favor of the border wall.
“Everyone who lives along the river is afraid,” Salinas told the newspaper. “The best thing that could happen to us is that we go ahead and build the fence and see if we can stop some of the illegals from coming across. It’s not just one or two of them, it’s 20 or 30 of them at once, every night.”
So far, over 250 signatures have been collected in Mission against Mayor Salinas’ comments. Among the groups that helped collect the signatures were LUPE, Texas Civil Rights Project, Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club and the Minority Affairs Council at UTRGV.
The petition’s title is: Mayor Salinas: Join Your Constituents and Reject Trump’s Border Wall
The petition reads:
“Mission, Texas, is a welcoming city, one that values the contribution of immigrants, and wants to see our city grow. We do not need border barriers like walls and fences taking property from our neighbors or walling off parks like Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park.
“Mayor Salinas turned his back on his constituents when he commented to the Washington Post. “The best thing that could happen to us is that we go ahead and build the fence and see if we can stop some of the illegals from coming across.”
“As residents of Mission, we reject the use of the dehumanizing “I-word” and reject Trump’s border wall.
“Mayor Salinas should take back his hateful and fear-mongering comments and join his constituents in opposing Trump’s border wall.”
LUPE communications coordinator John-Michael Torres presented the petition to Mission City Council members. Torres said he would like to set up a meeting city staff in the coming days to work on a resolution opposing a border wall. “Mission is a welcoming city,” Torres said.
One of the Mission residents to speak at the city council meeting was local activist Ester Salinas. “I voted for Trump but I am against the border wall. A wall is not the solution. I think our mayor is a flip-flopper,” she told the Rio Grande Guardian.
Mayor Salinas was not the only Rio Grande Valley leader to voice concerns about residents living near the Rio Grande in The Washington Post.
Weslaco City Manager Mike Perez said he hears from angry residents about undocumented immigrants trampling through their yards, filling water jugs from their faucets and exchanging wet garments with clean ones hanging from their clothes lines.
“In the country, at night, people are knocking on doors and looking for water,” Perez said. “It can scare the hell out of you.”