DHS Waives Dozens Of Laws To Build Border Wall In Texas, Citing Illegal Alien Surge
US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas looks on during a press conference to announce disruptions of the fentanyl precursor chemical supply chain at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, on October 3, 2023. The United States announced sanctions on a China-based network for producing and distributing chemicals used to make drugs including those that have fueled a deadly national fentanyl crisis.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said this week that the dire conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border allows the administration the legal right to waive dozens of laws and regulations in order to rapidly build sections of border wall in areas of south Texas that are being overrun by illegal aliens.

Mayorkas said in an announcement on the U.S. Federal Register that the situation makes it “necessary to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements” in order to ensure the expeditious construction of “physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States.”

Mayorkas was forced to highlight the administration’s failures to secure the border and their open border policies in the announcement, noting that in August, nearly a quarter of a million illegal aliens were caught attempting to enter the U.S. — a number that does not include illegal aliens who evaded detection and escaped into the country.

The announcement named multiple areas within the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector that are areas of “high illegal entry” that the administration now has designated as “project areas.”

The administration said in the announcement that it was waiving 26 laws to start construction, including the National Environmental Policy Act; the Endangered Species Act; the Federal Water Pollution Control Act; the National Historic Preservation Act; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; the Migratory Bird Conservation Act; the Clean Air Act; the Archeological Resources Protection Act; the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act; the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Noise Control Act; the Solid Waste Disposal Act; as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act; the Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act; the Antiquities Act; the Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act; the Farmland Protection Policy Act; the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; the National Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956; the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act; the National Trails System Act; the Administrative Procedure Act; the Eagle Protection Act; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act; the American Indian Religious Freedom Act; and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

The news comes as there remain hundreds of miles of unprotected areas along the U.S.-Mexico border following former President Donald Trump’s time in office.

Under the administration of former President Trump, 450 miles of border wall was built, though the majority of that was replacing old barriers. 85 miles of new border wall — 52 miles of new primary wall and 33 miles of new secondary wall — was built in areas that had no preexisting border barriers, according to a press release that the Trump campaign posted on X from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


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