BORDER BATTLE: LET THE WALL BEGIN
Calexico, CA –
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers in the vicinity of the international border near Calexico, California. The waiver was published in the Federal Register today.
This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and covers a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws.
The Department has exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), as amended, on five previous occasions from 2005 to 2008, as well as exercising this waiver authority earlier this year for a project in the San Diego area, which was announced in August.
This current waiver covers certain border infrastructure projects in the United States Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector, a critical sector for border security. In fiscal year 2016 alone, the United States Border Patrol apprehended more than 19,400 undocumented immigrants and seized approximately 2,899 pounds of marijuana and approximately 126 pounds of cocaine in the El Centro Sector.
The El Centro Sector remains an area of high illegal entry, and replacing the existing fencing, which was built in the 1990s and no longer meets the Border Patrol’s operational needs, is a high priority.