San Diego, CA -- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver to circumvent laws and regulations that protect our natural resources and local environment in order to speed up construction of a border wall and prototypes along the San Diego / Tijuana border.
The waiver comes as the Trump administration pushes forward with its plans to build a wasteful wall even though border apprehensions are at a 17-year low. In San Diego alone, Border Patrol agents are apprehending an average of seven people per agent per year (that’s less than one per month), according to official sector figures.
These misguided investments come at expense of fixing our country's dilapidated and understaffed ports of entries, where millions of people wait for hours to cross each day to work, visit family and shop.
Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego, issued the following statement:
“More than two decades of wall-building have subjected border communities like San Diego to government overreach by waiving the very laws that protect our environment and the well-being of our families. The authority granted to DHS to waive all laws in order to build more walls must be re-evaluated by Congress.
The fact is, we do not need more walls: We already have a barrier in that 15-mile stretch and in fact, we have a double or triple barrier in much of it. Instead of investing billions of dollars in more walls or more agents that we don’t need, we should invest the money in upgrading our overburdened ports of entry and hiring more inspectors to reduce wait times.
Border residents should not be waiting for hours to cross into the United States. This depresses economic activity and results in lost economic benefits for everybody, including heartland states that depend on our ports for their jobs. Instead of speeding up construction for wasteful border wall by trampling our environment, we should speed up hiring of more inspectors so that our border region and the country can live up to its full economic potential.”
About Alliance San Diego
Alliance San Diego is a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) community empowerment organization working to ensure that all people can achieve their full potential in an environment of harmony, safety, equality, and justice. Our mission is to to provide a means for diverse individuals and organizations to share information, collaborate on issues and mobilize for change in the pursuit of social justice, especially in low-income communities and communities of color. We pursue this mission through targeted civic engagement programs and strategic coalitions that focus on specific issues and policy reforms.