Rio Grande Valley, Texas
The Rio Grande Valley was brought under Texan control during the Texas Revolution of 1835-1836 and became a route for slaves fleeing to Mexico. The United States, led by President James K. Polk, annexed the Republic of Texas in 1844, despite opposition from Britain and Mexico. This contributed to the Mexican American War, which saw several significant battles along the Rio Grande, including the Battle of Resaca de la Palma near Brownsville. The war ended in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which established the Rio Grande as the southern border of the United States. As a result of this change in government, there was a large migration from Tamaulipas to the US side of the river.
During World War I, the region experienced a notable rise in the number of Border Patrol agents due to the Zimmermann Telegram. Additionally, the Texas Rangers escalated their law enforcement activities in the area by introducing a new group of Rangers who were responsible for assessing the loyalty of Tejanos. Unfortunately, these Rangers were known for their violent behavior and carried out revenge killings without facing any legal consequences, despite charges being filed in the Texas senate. Moving on to World War II, two major military training facilities were established in Brownsville and Harlingen in the Valley region.
Following the events of September 11, 2001, the Customs Border Security Act was put into effect which led to the creation of interior checkpoints for the United States Border Patrol. Some of these checkpoints were established at the northern end of Rio Grande Valley, providing an additional layer of protection against smuggling which has become more sophisticated over time. Recently, We Build The Wall has initiated construction on a portion of the border wall in this area. However, local residents have raised concerns about the project due to its close proximity to the National Butterfly Center and the Rio Grande river which is susceptible to seasonal flooding. The geography of Rio Grande Valley plays a significant role in shaping its economy and culture.
We Build The Wall has been instructed by the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission to halt construction activities until a review can be conducted to determine if the project is in violation of the 1970 Treaty aimed at resolving boundary disputes and preserving the Rio Grande and Colorado River as the international boundary between Mexico and the United States.
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