Napolitano puts border contruction projects on hold
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has put a hold on border construction projects; this after receiving criticism of giving stimulus money to less busy inland ports while bypassing larger busier ports like the ones here in Laredo.
"We need to make sure that these border ports move efficiently, effectively, safe and secure. Because it has an effect not just in the economy but those who live in the border areas."
That was Janet Napolitano after touring the World Trade Bridge back in April of this year.
She heard from city officials first hand about the need for improvements.
"We told her our concerns of security, our concerns for more boots on the ground, more technology, more infrastructure and I think she understands that," but after Napolitano's visit, Laredo never received any money from the stimulus package to better our infrastructure and border security.
"We are the number one inland port and yet we are just getting crumbs."
Napolitano has been criticized after an investigation by the associated press reported that checkpoints in Montana and North Dakota got millions of dollars to renovate their facilities.
While busier, high priority checkpoints...like Laredo, were passed over.
"Like in North Dakota were they gonna get up to 128 million dollars and they re just crossing 10 citizens a day. Its ridiculous."
According to city leaders we need to expand our facilities to better serve this border.
Which sees thousands of crossings every single day.
"One of the biggest complaints from our visitors from Mexico... the waiting lines are just too long."
Recently U.S Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is running for Texas Governor, talked about the need to better our border security system.
"Electronics, cameras are not working and really is throwing money down the rat hole."
Meanwhile city leaders hope this review of Homeland Security's allocation of funding will result in more money for our busy inland ports.
City of Laredo had presented their 12-lane expansion at the World Trade Bridge to secretary of Homeland Security.
Since they didn't receive the money, they are looking at the city's fund to start the project.