The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that it will waive thirty-five environmental regulations in their entirety in order to expedite building security-related barriers and roads along the U.S.’s border with Mexico near San Diego.
President Trump has instructed Kelly to take “immediate steps to prevent all unlawful entries into the United States” which includes the “immediate construction of physical infrastructure to prevent illegal entry.”
In order to complete this task, Former Secretary of DHS John Kelly has “determined, pursuant to law, that it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations and other legal requirements in order to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads in the vicinity of the international land border of the United States near the city of San Diego.”
San Diego remains an area of high illegal entry for which there is an “immediate need to construct additional border barriers and roads.”
In his letter, Kelly outlines that in fiscal year 2016 alone, the “United States Border Patrol apprehended over 31,000 illegal aliens and seized approximately 9,167 pounds of marijuana and approximately 1,317 pounds of cocaine in the San Diego Sector.”
Nonetheless, Kelly contends that “more work needs to be done.” The letter outlines the various projects DHS will undertake that will further Border Patrol’s ability to deter and prevent illegal crossings.
DHS will primarily focus on the construction of a fifteen mile segment of the border within the San Diego Sector that starts at the Pacific Ocean and extends eastward.
Although the start date for the project is unknown, the House voted last week to appropriate $1.6 billion for the wall.