There’s no stopping the Trump administration from building the promised wall between the U.S. and Mexico borders to better protect the American people and the national interest. In order to “expedite” the construction of barriers and roads for the wall, the Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday that it will use its authority to bypass environmental laws and other regulations to build the wall faster.
The agency echoed President Trump’s determination in building the wall. It said in a statement: “The sector remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an immediate need to improve current infrastructure and construct additional border barriers and roads.”
The Homeland Security said that to start meeting the need for such additional border infrastructure in the area, it will implement various border infrastructure projects. The DHS waiver - which focuses on 15 miles of contiguous land stretching eastward from the Pacific Ocean- would make it easier for the agency to embark on the planned infrastructure projects. It will include building several prototypes of the border wall which President Trump called for in a January executive action. The agency is also targeting to replace sections of the fence that stands in the area.
The DHS will have great use for the waiver since by using it it would be able to avoid the legal requirement to complete an environmental impact study before building on public lands. The DHS says it has “the authority to waive all legal requirements” the Homeland Security secretary deems necessary “to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.”
A portion of the border could certainly be described as one of those areas. Last year alone, DHS said Customs and Border Patrol apprehended more than 31,000 illegal aliens and seized 1,300 pounds of cocaine just in the San Diego sector alone just in the San Diego sector alone.
It will also not be the first time for DHS to use such a waiver as it was also invoked five times during the George W.Bush’s administration.
Environmentalists are expected to protest the waiver anew as they did for previous plans of the agency related to building the wall. The agency is determined, however, to build the prototypes as early as late November this year.