WASHINGTON D.C. –Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would override several environmental laws – including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Antiquities Act, and Endangered Species Act – in order to expedite the building of a section of President Trump’s border wall in the San Diego area. In April, Congressman Grijalva along with the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over their plans to construct a wall. The lawsuit seeks to require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prepare a supplemental “programmatic environmental impact statement” for the U.S.-Mexico border enforcement program.
“The Department of Homeland Security’s mission statement clearly states; ‘With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.’ Yet nothing falls farther from this mission than their actions in waiving numerous environmental laws to build Trump’s border wall,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Doing away with environmental and public health laws that ensure clean air and clean water jeopardizes the very people, values, and homeland that DHS claims to protect.
“To be clear, these are not minor regulatory requirements that DHS is circumventing. They are monumental protections that have been essential to preserving our country’s natural heritage and safeguarding public health. The moment we place clean air and clean water as secondary to unnecessary border walls is the moment we lose our standing as public officials looking out for the safety and well-being of our nation.
“As I’ve said repeatedly, Trump’s wall — and his fanatical approach to our southern border — will do little more than perpetuate human suffering while irrevocably damaging our public lands and the wildlife that depend on them.”