Trump Administration Ignores Laws to Rush Border Wall Construction

Trump Administration Ignores Laws to Rush Border Wall Construction

In this instance, the department exercised its waiver authority under Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

DHS said the waiver is meant to help the agency "take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border" in keeping with Trump's executive order calling for the construction of a border wall. The waiver opens the door for drilling work by the Army Corps of Engineers and road construction to begin sooner, although a timeline has yet to be provided by the Trump administration.

Construction of border wall prototypes was supposed to start in June, but due to complaints by bidders it has been stalled until December 2017.

"This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress, " the agency said.

"This is the largest waiver of laws in US history, this border waiver", said Dan Millis of the Sierra Club in Tucson.

The waiver comes just a day before the San Diego City Council's Budget Committee will consider a proposed resolution in opposition to the border wall.

Calling Trump's plan for a border wall that stretches from California to Texas "a bad and unpopular idea", Millis said Congress should step in "to prevent unnecessary harm to the borderlands and its people by opposing any financing for Trump's lawless border wall and mass deportation agenda".

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The waiver will allow construction of a 15-mile stretch of border barriers and roads in the San Diego area which will extend from the Pacific Ocean eastward, according to the department.

DHS, he says, will find ways to be as environmentally friendly as possible. And they're responding with lawsuits. Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the center, says today's waivers are risky.

Among the lengthy list of laws it will waive are the National Environmental Policy Act - a 1969 law requiring federal agencies to complete environmental assessments of their projects - the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act and the Clean Air Act.

"They want to use the waiver to build a replacement and to expand their interpretation of what already is the broadest waiver in USA history to make it perpetual", Brian Segee, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 1.

"Bulldozing beloved wildlife refuges won't make us safer, but it will enrage people across the country", Brian Segee, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said recently.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Monday he had not recently spoken to Donald Trump on the phone, after the USA leader boasted his counterpart had called him to praise his border policy.

A poll released by Rasmussen Reports on Monday, found only 37 percent of likely voters believe the U.S. should build a wall along the Mexican border to help stop illegal immigration. Senate Democrats have signaled that they would try to block funding for a border wall.

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