Congressmen oppose Texas wildlife refuge as border wall site

FILE: Border fence, near Brownsville, Texas. The staggered fence or “wall,” costing $6.5 million per mile, runs along 54 miles of Texas’ 1,254-mile border with Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
FILE: Border fence, near Brownsville, Texas. The staggered fence or “wall,” costing $6.5 million per mile, runs along 54 miles of Texas’ 1,254-mile border with Mexico. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A group of Texas Democratic congressmen are questioning preliminary plans to build a section of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall through a federal wildlife refuge.

Federal officials have told landowners and local officials that they intend to build on about 3 miles (nearly 5 kilometers) of the river levee that runs through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

According to The Monitor newspaper , the congressmen say cutting through the refuge “could do serious environmental and economic damage,” and are calling for transparency.

The congressmen are Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, Henry Cuellar of Laredo, Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Vicente Gonzalez of McAllen, Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, and Filemon Vela of Brownsville.

The U.S. House passed a budget proposal authorizing 60 miles of construction in South Texas.