City Council Reconsidering Border Highway Pedestrian Ban
For several hours during the Pope's visit to Juarez, a large section of the Border Highway will be closed but, not to allow pedestrians to gather as originally thought.
City Reps. Emma Acosta and Peter Svarzbein are calling for this matter to be reexamined during today's city council meeting. They say, the decision was made without a public discussion and with very little input from city council.
According to the E.P. Times, Svarzbein said:
“Rep. Acosta and I are interested in learning more about the process by which the security plan is developing.” “In addition, it is important to maximize the opportunity for the people of El Paso to get as close as possible to see Pope Francis. We need to strike a balance between security and the values and ideals of a border region united by language, history and hope for a better tomorrow.”
“We cannot state that we are the safest city of our size in the nation and then make an alternate statement stating that we cannot allow pedestrians because we believe they are in danger because they are so close to the border.”
U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke has also urged the city to allow pedestrians to gather on the highway during the Pope's mass.