Border wall stretches for miles into the rolling landscape on the outskirts of Nogales, Arizona. This kind of fencing is impassable to most wingless wildlife. Photo: Rebecca Kessler / Mongabay

1 March 2018 (Mongabay) – On Tuesday, a federal judge in California ruled that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not abuse its authority in waiving dozens of environmental laws to build sections of wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico. The ruling frees the department to waive laws for future border wall construction projects.

In August and September the department waived more than 30 laws, including key environmental laws, to expedite construction of three border wall projects in California. The projects include the construction of eight wall prototypes, now completed, and the replacement of two sections of existing border fencing.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel consolidated three separate lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security that were initially filed by the state of California, a consortium of NGOs (Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund), and the NGO Center for Biological Diversity. The suits contend that the department exceeded the authority Congress granted it, via legislation dating back to 1996, to waive laws for border infrastructure construction, and that it violated environmental laws and the constitution in the process. Judge Curiel’s 101-page ruling on the consolidated cases threw out those arguments, finding that the department’s actions are valid. […]

Brian Segee, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the plaintiffs in the case decided this week, said the group plans to appeal the ruling, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The Trump administration has completely overreached its authority in its rush to build this destructive, senseless wall,” Segee told the paper. “They’re giving unprecedented, sweeping power to an unelected agency chief to ignore dozens of laws and crash through hundreds of miles of spectacular borderlands. This is unconstitutional and shouldn’t be allowed to stand.” [more]

Judge OKs waiving environmental laws to build U.S.-Mexico border wall


  1. Anonymous said...

    The utter lawlessness of the U.S. government knows no bounds whatsoever. I just watched a video tonight on the inability of wildlife to tranverse the region due to the wall, which will cut off a lot of wildlife from the Rio Grande - and now they will die from dehydration because they will have no access to water. Typical American indifference and arrogance to everything else living on this planet. It's not just about America - or Mexicans, it's about life itself.  


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