McALLEN, RGV – Teeing off a story that first appeared in the Rio Grande Guardian, News Talk 710 KURV interviewed Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos Wednesday about a fact-finding tour some of his staff made recently to border ports of entry.
And, as first mentioned in the Rio Grande Guardian, Cascos spoke about his efforts to resurrect the Rio Grande River Weir project.
“I still believe we have to pursue the building of a weir, some mechanism to retain the river water before it gets out into the Gulf,” Cascos told the Valley Morning News show on KURV. “I have been quietly talking with our Mexican counterparts. I will tell you I did have an informal conversation with the Governor of Tamaulipas and he is on board with it at this point. We are not sure where the location may be. It may be up river from the Brownsville area. It depends logistically on where the best place to be is. But everybody appears to be on board on that project.”
The Governor of Tamaulipas is Egidio Torre Cantú.
Asked what the benefits to Mexico are from building a weir, Cascos said: “Whatever happens on this side (of the border) affects Mexico. We are tied at the hip, not only when it comes to agriculture but when it comes to trade. So, if it (the weir) allows us to retain water it will help them (the State of Tamaulipas) to retain water as well. That is a project that is long in coming but it was kind of put on the back shelf and we are going to try to give it some assistance and resuscitate it.”
Cascos was invited onto the Valley Morning News show by presenters Sergio Sanchez and Tim Sullivan to talk about a recent border infrastructure fact-finding tour that his border affairs staff made with Texas Department of Transportation officials. Avdiel Y. Huerta, assistant secretary of state for Mexican and Border Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of State, and Chris Valadez, border initiatives coordinator in the Office of the Secretary of State, held meetings last week in El Paso, Presidio, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville.
“This (type of tour) has not been done for a long time, if ever. It was really just to sit down with local officials. We had a lot of good participation, local mayors; county judges, some of the state reps along the border. They were pleased with our presence. It was an information, fact-gathering tour. We are working very closely with TxDOT. They are a very critical component on this. They are primarily responsible for the infrastructure. I thought it was a very productive tour,” Cascos said.
As with his interview in the Rio Grande Guardian, Cascos gave a lot of credit to Governor Greg Abbott for his commitment to the border region.
“As you know, Governor Abbott has been a strong proponent of developing and enhancing our border infrastructure and you really can’t do it without collaboration on the Mexican side. It does no good to enhance our border infrastructure on the Texas side if Mexico is not going to reciprocate and enhance their infrastructure leading up to our border ports of entry,” Cascos told KURV.
Cascos also referenced the City of Laredo’s efforts to build another international bridge in order to ease truck traffic congestion. He said he personally would be “retracing” the steps Huerta and Valadez made, probably in April or May of next year.
“We cannot paint the border with one broad brush and say this is what we need on the border, every community is unique and their needs are different,” Cascos said. “The Governor is committed to the border and recognizes how important the border is to the Texas economy.”
Editor’s Note: Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos recently spoke at a Veterans Job Fair hosted by Workforce Solutions at the McAllen Convention Center. In the main image accompanying this story Cascos is pictured being interviewed at the event.