Chair Grijalva: More Federally Protected Areas at Risk as Trump Admin Destroys Whole Communities, Public Lands to Build Unpopular Border Wall

Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released the following statement on the news that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to build or extend bollard fencing along the vast majority of the southern boundaries of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge – three federally protected sites – as part of its plan to construct President Trump’s unpopular, needlessly destructive border wall. A CBP public letter released yesterday includes maps of the affected areas, clearly indicating the Trump administration’s intention to construct barriers along all three sites’ borders with Mexico.

“The Trump administration should end this madness immediately and stop wasting taxpayer money on a wall people don’t want,” Grijalva said today. “Waiving numerous environmental laws and shadily laundering Department of Defense funding is yet another example of the Trump administration’s willingness to stoop to new lows. Wherever you look, this monstrosity is uprooting communities, blocking wildlife corridors, hurting our economy and raising more environmental and legal questions every day. This brazen admission of their intent to destroy some of our country’s most precious environmental refuges shows they care about nothing but their own politics. The wall won’t stop border migration, so we have to ask why Trump officials imagine this level of destruction is worth it.”

Wall construction in certain areas has already had serious impacts on endangered jaguars and other species that move and reside across a broad swathe of the Southwest. Continuing to build fencing without regard for wildlife impacts, Grijalva said, essentially condemns certain species to extinction.

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