BROWNSVILLE, Texas – President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a U.S.-Mexico wall has touched off a fierce debate in the U.S. border towns that would be most affected – with local Democrats vowing to fight Trump tooth and nail if he proceeds.
“Mexico is an ally, not an enemy,” Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, told FoxNews.com. “It is our second-largest trading partner, and building a wall between two countries with such important ties is a senseless and wasteful exercise.”
Vela is a colorful Trump critic. He made headlines after calling the president-elect’s illegal immigrant policies “hateful, dehumanizing, and frankly shameful.” In a public letter, he also advised Trump to “take your border wall and shove it up your ass.”
Vela is part of a growing number of Democratic lawmakers bracing for a fight with Trump over his proposed 1,933-mile border wall with Mexico — one of several big immigration clashes on the horizon. Many Democratic officials in “sanctuary cities” also are preparing to battle Trump over his threat to cut their federal funding.
On Wednesday, Trump stood by his promise that the U.S. would begin building the wall immediately after he takes office and force Mexico to pay for it, whether by tax or direct