Obstructing Human Rights: The Texas-Mexico Border Wall
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The Working Group submits these briefing papers to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the “Commission”) with the request that the Commission consider the violations of human rights taking place through the construction of walls along the Texas/Mexico border. These briefing papers focus on the human rights impact of border wall construction on the Texas/Mexico border, although wall segments also have been and will be built along the border between Mexico and the states of California, New Mexico and Arizona. These briefing papers focus on the Texas/Mexico border because: 1) the Working Group enjoys a unique connection to the residents of Texas and the Texas/Mexico border region; 2) the construction of border fencing in Texas presents issues involving the public taking of private land that are not present in the other states where the majority of property along the border is federal land; and 3) the next phase of border wall construction will take place predominantly in Texas. The papers focus most heavily on the area along the Texas/Mexico border known as the Rio Grande Valley, which is located at the southernmost tip of Texas. Much of the border wall construction planned for Texas is scheduled to take place in this area, and residents of this area were the first to contact the University of Texas regarding the severe impact that the border wall will have on their human rights. The papers do nonetheless address border wall construction in other areas of Texas where important human rights issues are raised, particularly in relation to the indigenous communities that live in western Texas.