El Paso City Council opposes militarizing the border
05/24/2006 12:00:00 AM MDT
City Council opposes militarizing the border
By David Crowder / El Paso Times
President Bush's proposal to send 6,000 National Guard
soldiers to the border region to improve security drew
the El Paso City Council's unanimous opposition
The resolution, proposed by West-Central city Rep.
Susie Byrd, asserted that solders are trained to deal
with enemy combatants, not border residents, and that
"the proposal threatens the safety and well being of
the residents of our border communities."
East-Central city Rep. Jose Alexandro Lozano was the
only council member to voice reservations about the
measure, saying that it is a federal issue, not a
local one, and that the real problem isn't
undocumented immigrants but the "illegal employers"
who hire them.
Although the resolution opposed U.S. militarization of
the border, Lozano said, the Mexican government is
militarizing its side of the border to curtail illegal
And, he said, the National Guard will join the
Minutemen in saving lives of people trying to cross
But Lozano acknowledged with a laugh that he could not
vote against such a resolution and joined his fellow
council members in supporting it.
Speaking for the American Civil Liberties Union, Ray
Ybarra called on the El Paso City Council to become
the first metropolitan council to adopt a measure that
is likely to sweep the country.
"It's time for the border counties of Texas to tell
President Bush not to militarize the border," Ybarra
The city of Laredo recently expressed its opposition
to a border fence, as well as to placing National
Guardsmen on the border.
David Crowder may be reached at