County Judge talks about time in Washington

February 10, 2017 GMT

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. traveled to Washington earlier this week to share his thoughts on border security.

Treviño called the wall a “14th century solution to address a 21st century problem” at the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing.

“There seemed to be bipartisan support that a border wall won’t serve its intended purpose,” Treviño said. “To me, I took that as a positive development that they listened to our particular area.”

Even though Secretary John F. Kelly of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was selected to advance the president’s agenda, he seemed receptive to feedback, Treviño said.

Kelly has been traveling to different areas along the border to talk to local officials and determine their needs, Treviño said.

One of the main points Treviño wanted to emphasize was that the border wall was not a “one size fits all” approach.

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At the hearing, he spoke about other alternatives, including a virtual wall using cameras, clearing the foliage around the border so agents could navigate more easily, and investing the money meant for a wall into technological infrastructure.

“I did call and talk to different people and agencies, and was disappointed to learn that much of the technology infrastructure we have has not been upgraded and replaced. It’s still functioning, but it would be much easier and less expensive if it was updated, and it would go hand-in-hand with surveillance,” Treviño said.

Treviño was unable to discuss the issue further with anyone after the hearing.

“I didn’t get an opportunity to meet with Secretary Kelly. I did greet him, but it was not anything specific. Because of how long it took with Secretary Kelly (at the hearing), it impacted my ability to meet with Congress,” Treviño said.

fgarza@brownsvilleherald.com