House Attempts to Speed Plans for Border Wall Expansion

House Sneaks Through Bill to Fund Border Wall Expansion that Could Cause Irreparable Harm

Last Thursday, we witnessed a series of important votes in Congress that would affect millions of Americans, and mark a dangerous movement toward border policy priorities that goes against the beliefs of most Americans.

Walling Off Wildlife

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a $789 billion spending bill (H.R. 3219), referred to as the security “minibus,” that bundles four of the 12 spending bills to fund the federal government beyond September 30. Even though funding of Homeland Security spending was not included in this package, lawmakers snuck in a massive $1.6 billion to pay for a 70-mile expansion of President Trump’s border wall through a procedural vote that shielded members of the House of Representatives from accountability for their votes.

Defenders decried this funding when it was first proposed earlier this month, pointing to how the majority of Americans oppose construction of the border wall and how the wall would divide, bisect and isolate important Southwestern landscapes thereby pushing borderland wildlife like jaguars, Mexican gray wolves and ocelots to the brink of extinction. Expanding the border wall would cause irreparable environmental, social and economic damages. Furthermore, funding this ill-conceived border wall would waste massive amounts of taxpayer money and divert much-needed federal dollars away from other, more deserving programs that would better serve the interests of our country’s future, its national and global security and the welfare of communities and wildlife.

Defenders has been working as part of a broad coalition, including leading civil rights organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), to oppose expansion of the border wall, which poses major threats to wildlife, communities, private lands, and now potentially wildlife refuges on our Southern border.

A Refuge No More?

In addition to our on-going concerns about the expansion of a border wall, we are now closely monitoring the latest threat it poses as preparations have already begun for sections to be built through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in South Texas.

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is a biodiversity hot spot and one of the top birding destinations in the world. It is home to approximately 400 species of birds and important habitat for the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi cat species among many other rare species found only in deep South Texas. The refuge is part of an important wildlife migration corridor running along the length of the Rio Grande and on into Central and South America.

Defenders is preparing to fight this new development, which would destroy one of our most celebrated refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Recent reports indicate that construction of a three-mile segment of the wall cutting through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge could begin as early as November using funding already in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection budget.

Next Steps

In the meantime, the security “minibus” is headed to the Senate floor and it will need to pass its own version of the bill.  This is only the beginning of the contentious border wall discussion in Congress as the controversial issue is expected to garner more attention in the weeks leading up to the deadline to fund the government on September 30th.

Make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest developments around the border wall by following Defenders on social media. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.

9 Responses to “House Attempts to Speed Plans for Border Wall Expansion”

  1. Robyn Osburn

    We are so set on changing the principles this country was founded on, give me your tired your poor, to the detriment of wildlife, our environment, and our own existence.

    • Diana747

      One doesn’t preclude the other. We must not adopt the Trump racist immigrant agenda; we must not build this ridiculous wall; we must not destroy our environment looking for fossil fuels. We’re killing the world and we’re killing ourselves.

    • Tracy Arcure

      on your article “AP-NORC Poll: Most Americans oppose funding border wall”
      you forget to mention the 90 Billion cut Trump want to cut the Education budget, which is absurd. So he can builld his stupid wall. We are tired about Trump building the WALL, Congress, Senators are sick and tired of hearing about the building of the WALL. all they need are electric eyes monitoring systems, when ever someone does cross the border, you will know. But you and I knw if they want to cross they will find a way. so know matter what they come up with ,it will be conquered . A BIG WASTE OF MONEY. If Trump really wants to catch illegal immigrants , he has no further to look than his many Golf courses he owns..

  2. Christine Stever

    Please continue to fight for the wildlife we , globally all love. Although I am not American I have quickly come to realize we all need to ban together to fight for what we cherish and love against the Trump administration. I have made donations to your organization and signed petitions. Wildlife and the planet need our protection and advocacy, regardless of what part of the globe you reside in

    • Thank you Christine!

      As an American, I’m deeply concerned about what that toxic idiot will try next. I’m also embarrassed to even be called an American at this point. Please know that we, decent people, are doing everything possible to have that cancer removed from our White House. “It” must be removed or we’ll all die. I support Defenders myself and many other organizations that do battle against ignorance, stupidity, indifference, apathy, and cruelty. Wow, I just summed up everything trump represents! Stay in the fight with us! Notice I didn’t capitalize it’s name? “It” will never be MY president!!!

  3. Denise G

    Again another unwise decision…..wasted taxpayers money…..!! You can’t stop illegal immigrants from coming in they will find other ways, you can’t stop the drugs that are smuggled in they will continue to find other avenues. Stop wasting our money on BS!!

  4. Bryan Kirshon

    It’s an idea that sounds like horror story for our nation and our wildlife

  5. Kathleen Landow

    Not only is this border wall a waste of money and useless for the purpose intended, it puts vulnerable wildlife in terrible danger. Of course they won’t be doing an Environmental impact study because it would take too long, and our leaders don’t believe in preserving something precious like these creatures. This is so stupid that I can’t believe the nerve of these people. This must be stopped!!!

  6. Kathi

    This wall is a ridiculous waste of money that should be used for the good of all Americans. It will not keep our border “secure”. It will be a monument to American hate, greed, and stupidity. And to ignore the wildlife refuge is criminal. Our leader promised to build it, and we all know how he doesn’t want to renege on a promise!
    Let’s fight this with all we have!

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