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Funding for Border Wall Blocked

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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On Friday (June 28), a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from using $2.5 billion in funding—money that was intended for military use—for building the U.S.-Mexico border wall. The money would have gone toward constructing parts of the project in California, Arizona and New Mexico. Construction is also moving forward on a stretch of border wall in California.

Judge Haywood S. Gilliam issued the permanent injunction late last month, on the heels of a ruling from the previous month that temporarily stopped usage of military funds to build the border wall.

Border Wall Saga

In September 2017, the first border wall contracts were awarded to four different companies to develop prototypes that would work in conjunction with the border in the San Diego area. U.S. special forces spent weeks attempting to breach the eight prototype models of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, which proved to withstand jackhammers, torches and climbing tools.

Since then, the government has worked to speed up the project. In October 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that any environmental regulations regarding the construction or repair of a section of the border wall for certain areas in Texas would be waived, drawing ire from environmentalists and private property owners alike. The announcement detailed exemptions in Cameron County; another announcement made the following day detailed similar measures for Hidalgo County.

And in December 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginning of construction of a series of border wall gates in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

tzahiV / Getty Images

On Friday (June 28), a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from using $2.5 billion in funding—money that was intended for military use—for building the border wall. The money would have gone toward constructing parts of the project in California, Arizona and New Mexico. Construction is also moving forward on a stretch of border wall in California.

But in January, a report revealed that all eight border wall prototypes, inspected by President Donald J. Trump last March, were susceptible to breaching. Several million in other contracts for other border wall work had also been awarded elsewhere. In March, the border wall prototypes were demolished.

Fisher Sand & Gravel's CEO claimed his company could build 234 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, including the wall, paved roads and border technology, along with a warranty, for $1.4 billion. However, after Fisher failed to win the nearly $1 billion in contracts from the latest round of national emergency-appropriated funding, it filed a protest with the U.S. General Accounting Office criticizing the selection process, calling it flawed.

Toward the end of May, Gilliam blocked Trump’s use of money originally intended for military funding, for work on the border wall. The injunction only accounted for roughly $1 billion in funding for the border wall, money that the Department of Defense had funneled away from Army personnel to the Department of Homeland Security.

California Wall Construction

According to Fox News, new reinforced panels were being used in border wall work in Calexico, California, along an 11-mile section that is located within the Border Patrol's San Diego sector.

The new panels are to replace 30-foot-tall steel bollards, along with new technology also being implemented at the site. U.S. Customs and Border Protection noted that there had been a recent increase in in illegal crossing traffic, and that the changes to the border wall would help strengthen the area against such crossings.

The $127 million contract to build both this and a section of border wall in Tecate, California, was awarded to SLSCO Ltd. in December 2018.

Gilliam Injunction

Gilliams’ injunction is related to a lawsuit issued by several groups, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sierra Club. Work is to cease on six sites, excluding work on 79 miles of the border near Tucson, Arizona, and El Centro, California.

The lawsuit challenged the use of the military funds under the national emergency order, but the Trump administration insisted that the use of the funding was legal under the order—this being an “unforeseen” circumstance. If the funding was not awarded to contractors by the end of the fiscal year, the money may also have been lost.

Gilliam noted in his ruling that administration lawyers had not presented anything as to why the court should move away from its prior decision, and so the ruling remained. Those looking to block border wall construction were also found to likely suffer harm due to a lessened ability to “recreate in and otherwise enjoy public land along the border."

Gilliam also issued a ruling connected to a separate case: New Mexico and California had requested in a recent court filing that the judge block construction in those states, as it both infringed on states’ rights as well as do harm to the environment. Gilliam granted a partial injunction, but could not offer a permanent measure due to the states not meeting the necessary bar.

"These rulings critically stop President Trump's illegal money grab to divert $2.5 billion of unauthorized funding for his pet project," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

"All President Trump has succeeded in building is a constitutional crisis, threatening immediate harm to our state. President Trump said he didn't have to do this and that he would be unsuccessful in court. Today we proved that statement true."

The Trump administration can appeal the ruling in the core case.

   

Tagged categories: Government; Infrastructure; Lawsuits; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

Comment from Mark Taylor, (7/2/2019, 8:48 AM)

"These rulings critically stop President Trump's illegal money grab to divert $2.5 billion of unauthorized funding for his PET project," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. - So securing our nation's borders is Trump's "pet project". Sad. We've reached a time where securing our nation's borders is sedition. We now live in a country run by criminal oligarchs empowered by the corporate media and aided by their cronies in big tech.


Comment from T W, (7/3/2019, 7:17 AM)

webuildthewall.us


Comment from Tony Munson, (7/8/2019, 9:15 AM)

Seems we are being trained to accept that 100,000 plus new neighbors we know zippo about entering the US on a monthly basis is just a part of the 'new normal' in America. And those are just the ones being apprehended or turning themselves in to the border agents. Wonder what's happening down or up river where there are no camera crews ?


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