Government Waives Reviews for Border Wall in California - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first year as president

Government Waives Reviews for Border Wall in California

Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security secretary, said replacing fence in the area was one of the highest priorities for border security

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    A House panel unveiled a plan to begin building President Donald Trump's proposed border wall Tuesday. The $1.6 billion will be added to the government's almost $20 trillion debt. Trump promised on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he has not come up with a plan to make that happen. (Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017)

    The Trump administration on Tuesday waived environmental laws and other reviews to replace a small stretch of border wall in Calexico, California, the second time it has exercised that authority in less than two months.

    Critics said the move was an overreach and a threat to the environment.

    The waiver extends 3 miles (5 kilometers) west from the downtown border crossing in the city of 40,000 people, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

    The Department of Homeland Security will replace an airstrip landing-mat-style fence about 14 feet (4.3 meters) high with a bollard-style fence up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) high.

    Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Resigns

    [NATL] Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Resigns

    Zimbabwe’s Parliament launched impeachment proceedings against the country’s leader of 37 years, before he sent a letter of resignation.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017)

    Elaine Duke, the acting Homeland Security secretary, said replacing fence in the area was one of the highest priorities for border security. The government plans to award a contract in November and begin construction in February.

    It marks the seventh time the government has waived environmental reviews under a 2005 law. That law exempts the government from the National Environmental Protection Act, which calls for extensive reviews of environmental impacts, and a host of other laws.

    Last month, Homeland Security waived reviews for a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch in San Diego.

    The Center for Biological Diversity has challenged the San Diego waiver in federal court, arguing that the law doesn't apply to replacing barriers. The lawsuit also seeks to block plans to build prototypes in San Diego for what President Donald Trump has called "a big, beautiful wall" with Mexico.

    Brian Segee, an attorney for the environmental advocacy group, said the latest waiver was unconstitutional. But he was undecided whether to include it in his lawsuit before U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a target of Trump's enduring scorn over lawsuits that alleged fraud at the president's now-defunct Trump University.

    "The Trump administration is willing to ignore the law and destroy the environment in its rush to build a destructive, divisive wall that no one else wants," Segee said.

    Trump Designates North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

    [NATL]Trump Designates North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

    President Donald Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terror during a cabinet meeting Monday. Citing repeated nuclear threats, support of international terror and Kim Jong Un's suspected involvement in the assassination of his half brother as reasons for the designation, Trump also said on Tuesday the Treasury Department will announce new, larger sanctions on North Korea.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 20, 2017)

    Homeland Security said it has made significant gains in the Border Patrol's El Centro, California, sector, which includes Calexico, but more needs to be done. The Border Patrol made 19,448 arrests during the last fiscal year — less than 5 percent of the total on the border with Mexico.

    Downtown Calexico, which is about 120 miles (192 kilometers) east of San Diego, has been one of the more challenging area for Border Patrol agents in the area. People who enter the country illegally often try through the highly polluted New River.