LAREDO, Texas – Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told local officials worried about balancing security and economic needs that a border fence isn't feasible for all areas of the Texas-Mexico border.
"I don't think I can generalize for the whole state of Texas, but there are places where a fence makes sense, there are places where a fence doesn't make sense," Chertoff said Wednesday, referring to Laredo.
Chertoff was meeting with border mayors and business leaders to discuss the effects a fence could have on trade and tourism.
"We want to have the tactics that fit the particular landscape and geography," Chertoff said.
Last year Congress approved the fence in a measure that calls for 700 miles of fencing between Brownsville and Laredo, Eagle Pass and Del Rio, and El Paso and Las Cruces, N.M.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said he's helping draft legislation that would offer more options.
"Instead of Congress taking a crayon and drawing a line from Laredo down to Brownsville or Del Rio to Eagle Pass, we would rather have the experts have that input," Cuellar said.
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said the meeting gives Chertoff "the benefit of the insight that local leaders and business leaders have when it comes to what the right balance is to deal with security and economic vitality along this region."