Border-wall construction has proceeded rapidly, especially as of late, and continues to threaten public lands and federally protected wildlife, from the magnificent jaguar to the tiny cactus ferruginous pygmy owl. To make matters worse, this construction has occurred outside of the rule of law. In 2005, the REAL ID Act gave the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security the authority to waive any law to expedite construction of border walls. Since then, more than 30 landmark laws designed to protect the air, water, wildlife, culture, and health and safety of people in borderland communities have been ignored.
Fortunately, Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva will soon be introducing an updated version of the Borderlands Conservation and Security Act, an important bill that would require a comprehensive review of border policy, including an assessment of the costs and relative effectiveness of various strategies. It would establish a moratorium on further construction until American taxpayers can be assured that the vast amounts of money funneled into this policy are being used as wisely and effectively as possible.
Please write your Congressional representative to convey the importance of protecting border species and lands and supporting Rep. Grijalva’s bill. An example letter is provided below.