Congress is awarding an additional $1.4 billion for the construction of the Trump administration’s border wall in the end-of-year Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill — the same level of funding awarded in 2018 under unified Republican control of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Given recent court rulings stymying the administration’s rush to build border barriers using funds seized by an illegal declaration of national emergency, every dollar handed to this administration by Congress is another dollar for widespread devastation to air, water, people, and communities along the border. Congress spared historic cemeteries like the Jackson Ranch Chapel and Cemetery and the Eli Jackson Cemetery in the legislation, but for dozens of communities with no historic cemetery in them, relief from the border wall is still missing.
The following is a statement from Raul Garcia, Legislative Director of the Healthy Communities program at Earthjustice:
“It’s deeply disappointing to see Congress provide further wall funding. As we enter a new session, we hope that Congressional leaders will reflect upon their decision to allow more destruction of the Rio Grande River and the communities, wildlife, and wetlands that depend upon it. This bill will cause more uprooting of the ancestral homes of First Nations members who have crossed the river in peace for thousands of years. And crucially, it gives even more money to this administration’s cruel, hateful, and environmentally destructive agenda.
“We thank the tireless Congressional champions who secured new protections for historic cultural sites and beautiful landscapes. It is unfortunate that so many of our other elected representatives turned their backs on the border. This must be the last time Congress rewards this administration’s designs for a wall of hate.”
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