AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Border Coalition likes writer and historian José Antonio López’s idea of a huge celebration between U.S. -Mexico border communities in opposition to Donald Trump’s proposal that the border be closed.

López, a regular columnist for the Rio Grande Guardian, suggested a Border Life Appreciation Day, to be observed by cities and counties along the border, after watching the GOP presidential frontrunner on television.

José Antonio López
José Antonio López

Speaking on the Fox & Friends show on the Fox News Channel, Trump proposed that the U.S.-Mexico border be closed in response to the recent terror attacks in Brussels. Trump walked back the proposal when he appeared soon afterwards on the CBS-TV show, This Morning.

The Texas Border Coalition, made up of cities, counties and economic development corporations from El Paso to Brownsville, quickly denounced Trump’s proposal. Its chairman, J.D. Salinas, a former Hidalgo County Judge, called it “ridiculous.”

López praised the TBC for standing up to Trump and, in an email to Salinas, made a suggestion to the group.

“I recommend a distinctive experience event from Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, California, where local city councils, county commissioners, and business leaders simultaneously, at a set day and time, designate a Border Life Appreciation Day, with ceremonies and celebrations left to local officials,” López said.

“In doing so, border officials will vigorously voice their opposition to any plan to destroy the symbiotic relationship that has taken years to develop between so many bi-national communities all along the border. Said another way, the unique, close friendship must be celebrated, not destroyed by those who know little about the truly international and organic nature of our border.”

Replying to López’s email to Salinas, Elizabeth Lippincott, a consultant to the Texas Border Coalition, wrote:

Dear Mr. López,

On behalf of Texas Border Coalition Chairman JD Salinas and our members, thank you for your suggestion about a Border Life Appreciation Day. We received it with much interest. It is a worthy undertaking and TBC will explore whether and how our organization might be able to organize such a border-wide coordinated observance.

Thank you as well for your efforts on behalf of history education that includes the story of all the peoples who make up our uniquely Texas history and culture.

If we can ever be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach TBC here via my email or at 512-744-0044.

Thanks very much,

Elizabeth Lippincott

López was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He now lives in Universal City, Texas. He is the author of four books, the latest being “Preserving Early Texas History.” He is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and www.tejanosunidos.org, a website dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are largely overlooked in mainstream history books.

“I commend the Texas Border Coalition for its efforts to preserve the unique cultural and commercial aspects of the U.S.-Mexico border. I commend Chairman Salinas and the members of his organization,” López told the Rio Grande Guardian.

Elizabeth Lippincott
Elizabeth Lippincott

“It seems that with the current negative rhetoric displayed almost daily in the political arena – and sadly gaining negative momentum in the press – we must double our efforts. This is why I am suggesting a Border Life Appreciation Day.”

On behalf of the TBC, Salinas made this comment in response to Trump’s proposal:

“Closing our land border with Mexico would be a ridiculous staging of security theater: the practice of false efforts intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually achieve it.

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has made unprecedented investments in protecting the Southwest Border from the illegal entry of people, weapons, drugs and contraband. Those investments include personnel, technology and infrastructure. The story of the men and women protecting the Southwest border is a success story: seizing more currency, drugs, and weapons than ever. The Southwest border security team needs more resources, not false efforts that harm morale and the economy.”