Trump admin waives more environmental laws to expedite border wall construction in California

On Tuesday, DHS issued a waiver to bypass some environmental laws in order to “ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads” along the US border near Calexico, California.

DHS claims that in the fiscal year 2016, US Border Patrol apprehended more than 19,400 undocumented immigrants and seized 2,899 pounds of marijuana and 126 pounds of cocaine in the El Centro Sector alone.

In August, the department issued a similar waiver to expedite construction along a 15-mile segment of the border wall near San Diego.

Under federal law, the government is generally required to conduct environmental impact studies when building on public land. The department said the waiver will eliminate their obligation to comply with “a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws.”

In Tuesday’s announcement, the department said the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) grants the DHS “authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in his sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads.”