EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — There's been a lot of talk about El Paso and the border fence from the White House.
Now Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is adding his two cents in an interview with Fox News.
"If this fence were not here, that violence of decapitating people, of hanging people from bridges, cutting off their heads and rolling them in pool halls and down the street, that violence would be here in El Paso," Patrick said.
See the complete Fox News interview:
UTEP professor Richard Pineda says the border fence is only one part of the equation.
"Some of that is the fact that El Paso has always had this vast network of police agencies," Pineda said.
Pineda said the border fence does help when it comes to tactics and cutting down on illegal crossings, but he said Patrick’s comments may cause some problems for El Paso.
"I think it's problematic when you have officials from the state itself saying those things, because he's got to recognize that influences business,” Pineda said.
“It has an impact on people wanting to be in El Paso.”
Pineda says the comments about hypothetical crime rates in El Paso are distracting lawmakers from other pressing issues.
"Do we have efficient security policies and is that money better spent on something other than a wall? I think once you start getting into that conversation, that's where there's some real substance,” Pineda said.
Pineda says he's curious to see if this controversy will create more bipartisan conflicts and will affect how politicians work with each other in the state Legislature.