El Paso Legislator Questions "War Zone" Comments

Apr 12, 2012


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas state senator from El Paso has taken issue with calling the entire U.S.-Mexico border a "war zone."

Jose Rodriguez is a Democrat whose district borders the violence-riddled Mexican city of Juarez.

In response to testimony Thursday from Texas Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples, Rodriguez objected to the "broad brush that is used to declare that we are in a war zone."

He also questioned Staples' assertions that some Texas border farmers have abandoned their land amid threats from drug traffickers.

Rodriguez said he wanted hard data, not anecdotal evidence that was actually occurring.

Staples countered that law enforcement routinely calls the U.S.-Mexico border as a war zone. He also said that more than data, officials had "bullet-riddle pickups" showing the effects of drug violence on the border.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.