By Jon Dougherty
The Trump administration is working diligently to clear regulatory hurdles in a bid to hasten the construction of the president’s requested border wall.
On Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a pair of waivers so as to expedite wall construction at two locations — one in California and another in Arizona.
“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two waivers, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrolâ€™s Tucson and El Centro Sectors in Arizona and California, respectively,” the department said in a press release.
“The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 78 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to road construction and improvement and lighting installation. The waivers were published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2019,” DHS noted further.
“While the waivers eliminate DHSâ€™s obligation to comply with various laws with respect to covered projects, DHS remains committed to environmental stewardship. DHS has initiated consultation with other federal and state resource agencies to ensure that impacts to the environment, wildlife, and cultural and historic artifacts are analyzed and minimized, to the greatest extent possible,” said the agency.
Another waiver was also issued to begin construction on 15 miles of broken down fencing in Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector.
“The San Diego and El Centro Sectors are areas of high illegal entry and are experiencing large numbers of individuals and narcotics being smuggled into the country illegally. The construction of border infrastructure within these project areas will support DHSâ€™s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations,” DHS stated.
So, whileÂ new sections of border wall have been scarce, the administration is nevertheless working to quickly replace sections of border fencing that are ‘fences’ or ‘barriers’ in name only — something thatÂ also needs to be done, in addition to new sections being built.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday introduced promised new legislation aimed at closing loopholes in immigration law and unclogging the immigration judiciary backlog.
The Graham legislation closes the gaps in current law that have led to an escalating number of immigrants traveling to the border.
Highlights of Graham’s legislation include: pic.twitter.com/b4JKOn5Oz0
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) May 15, 2019
â€œThis legislation will help protect children by ensuring asylum claims are filed from their home area, not after a thousand mile journey,” said the Senate Judiciary Committee in a tweet.
â€œFinally, it should go without saying but travel from Central America to the United States is a dangerous and treacherous journey, particularly for children,â€ Graham noted.
Rather than allow the federal bureaucracy to ‘intervene’ and kill off presidential initiatives and campaign promises, POTUS Trump is using his bureaucracy toÂ clear the way so he can get the people’s work done.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10