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Austin Won't Work With Contractors Who Benefit From Border Wall

Austin City Council joins Tuscon, San Diego and Oakland in declining to do business with contractors that profit from President Donald Trump's border wall.

Border wall between Tijuana, Mexico, and California

The resolution passed at Thursday night's Council meeting, 11-1, with Council member Ellen Troxclair being the one "no" vote. Council member Delia Garza and co-sponsors, plus representatives of the Workers Defense Fund and Sierra Club, met Thursday to discuss the resolution.

"It is the policy of the city council, to the best of its ability, not to procure services from any company involved in the design, construction, or maintenance of the border wall," the resolution reads. New City Manager Spencer Cronk issued a directive to provide monthly updates on the effects the border wall will have on Austin.

Garza said Trump's proposed $25B border wall would tear apart Texas families, devastate precious natural resources and possibly diminish Austin's vibrant economy. Mayor Steve Adler said Austin built bridges, not walls, when it came to the city's diverse population.

"We live in a day when political rhetoric is all about making us scared of one another, of dividing us from one another," Adler said. "The language and symbols of fear and division are dangerous, and society pays a huge price because of it, and it all makes us less safe."

Council members Greg Casar and Ann Kitchen co-sponsored the resolution. Kitchen said militarizing the Texas-Mexico border was causing a humanitarian crisis that has torn families apart.

Garza, a lawyer, said Austin simply followed in the footsteps of prior actions: A number of cities have supported the border wall resolution. Seattle pulled its investments from Wells Fargo in protest of the Dakota pipeline. Austin City Council in the past adopted an Arizona travel ban after the state passed a "show me your papers" law. That law was recently hobbled in a legal settlement.

The Workers Defense Project, part of a national movement that protects the rights of low-income workers, launched a campaign last summer to support anti-border-wall resolutions. The group's goal is to take action against entities that benefit from anti-immigrant laws.