El Paso County Judge says health care and vaccines more pressing than Abbott border wall proposal


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott along with former President Donald Trump are planning to visit the southern border at the end of June.

Abbot spent his Wednesday revealing plans to build more barriers along the U.S. Mexico border.

“Texas will build a border wall in our state to help secure our border,” Abbott said during a press conference in Austin.

The continuation of the wall will be funded through donations according to Abbott.

“To speed the process as well as lower the cost of the project, the project manager can look to land that is already owned by the state of Texas, owned by local governments, or owned by private citizens,” said Abbott.

El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego tells KTSM 9 News that there is very little land along the border left without a barrier in the county.

“It’s 133 miles that hasn’t been completed but in our case of that it’s only 3 and a half miles for us that haven’t been completed,” said Samaniego.

El Paso is not in the same situation as the Rio Grande Valley or Del Rio, he added.

“How he’s focusing is really irrelevant to our community. Unless the community tells me otherwise that they’re feeling a crunch or they’re concerned or they’re afraid or whatever that is,” Samaniego said.

El Paso’s biggest issue at the moment, according to Samaniego, is the need to get people in Juárez vaccinated before the bridges open back up to non-essential travel.

“We need to have better health care systems. We need people to get better insurance so they can go to doctors and clinics like anyone else,” Samaniego said. “Those are the topics that are extremely in the forefront. More than a wall,” Samaniego said.

The El Paso County Judge says there is a plan in place to start vaccinating factory workers, and health care workers from Juárez at the Tornillo Port of Entry.

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