Judge Denies Injunction Against Border Fence Construction

Judge denies injunction against border fence construction

By Diana Washington Valdez
El Paso Times (TX), September 3, 2008

El Paso, TX — U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo denied a request for a preliminary injunction against the construction of the border fence in El Paso County, County Attorney Jose Rodriguez announced Wednesday.

The request was filed on June 23 by the County of El Paso, the City of El Paso, El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, Frontera Audubon Society, Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, Friends of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, and Mark Clark.

The petition was part of their lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security challenging Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's statutory authority to issue waivers of more than three dozen federal laws, as well as related state, local and tribal laws, to expedite the construction of a border fence in El Paso.

The request for a preliminary injunction sought to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from constructing any fencing, walls, or other physical barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, unless and until the department complies with the laws waived by Chertoff on April 3.

Among the reasons he cited for denying the request, Montalvo said the plaintiffs failed to prove the construction will irreparably injure the public if the injunction

Over the Labor Day holiday week, a coalition of organizations conducted a march from Fort Hancock to Sunland Park to protest the border fence.