From: The Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham
Sent By:
jaime.mccarthy@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.R. 837
Date: 3/7/2017

 

Current Cosponsors (77): Aguilar, Barragan*, Beyer, Blumenauer*, Carbajal*, Cardenas*, Castro*, Cicilline, Chu*, Clark*, Clarke*, Conyers, Correa*, Cuellar*, Cummings*, DeSaulnier, Ellison, Engel*, Espaillat*, Evans*, Foster*, Fudge, Gallego*, Garamendi*,
Gonzalez*, Green*, Grijalva*, Gutierrez*, Hanabusa*, Hastings, Huffman, Johnson*, Khanna*, Kihuen*, Lee*, Lewis*, Lieu, Lofgren*, Lowenthal, Maloney*, McCollum*, McGovern*, Meng*, Moore*, Moulton, Nadler*, Napolitano*, Norton*, O’Rourke*, Pallone*, Panetta,
Pingree*, Pocan*, Raskin*, Ruiz*, Rush, Sanchez*, Schakowsky*, Serrano*, Smith, Soto*, Speier, Swalwell*, Takano*, Thompson, Titus*, Tonko*, Torres*, Quigley*, Vargas*, Veasey*, Vela*, Velázquez*, Wasserman Schultz, Watson Coleman*, Welch*, Yarmuth

Endorsed by: Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, GreenLatinos, Latinos for a Secure Retirement, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Sierra Clubs

 

Dear Colleague,

 

I invite you to cosponsor the Build Bridges Not Walls Act (H.R. 837) which would prohibit the implementation of President Trump’s Executive Order to build a wall on our U.S.—Mexico border.

Border security is critically important to our national security, but President Trump’s effort to construct a wall is unnecessary, impractical, ineffective, and extremely costly.

  • The United States already maintains approximately 650 miles of border fence in areas that most effectively stop the unauthorized entry of people, vehicles, drugs, arms, and illicit items.
  • A border wall would likely harm wildlife, destroy sensitive habitat for endangered species, damage the environment and the natural flow of floodwaters, and lead to costly litigation with landowners, the Native American community, and stakeholders.
  • Harsh terrain and conditions along remote parts of the United States-Mexico border make the construction of a “mere speed bump in the desert” very costly.
  • The construction of a border wall will cost between $15 billion to $25 billion, not including additional maintenance costs.

President Trump’s executive order to build a wall and threats to impose a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for it, complement his anti-immigrant, isolationist agenda, which only serves to undermine America’s reputation in the world. If you would like to
cosponsor the Build Bridges Not Walls Act, please email Jaime.McCarthy@mail.house.gov.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michelle Lujan Grisham

Member of Congress

 

Bill Text

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SEC. 1. Short Title

The Build Bridges Not Walls Act

SEC. 2. Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

1)         The existing U.S.—Mexico border infrastructure already includes physical barriers, drones, cameras, motion detectors, thermal imaging sensors, ground sensors, and other surveillance tools.

2)         The U.S. already maintains approximately 650 miles of border fence in areas that most effectively stop the unauthorized entry of people, vehicles, drugs, arms, and illicit items.

3)         The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled from 10,717 in 1993 to 21,370 in 2016.

4)         Most experts believe that the Trump Administration’s border wall will cost between $15 billion to $25 billion, not including additional maintenance costs.

5)         Harsh terrain and conditions along remote parts of the U.S.—Mexico border make the construction of a wall or fence impractical, ineffective, and costly.

6)         Former CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske stated that building a continuous wall is not “feasible” or the “smartest way to use taxpayer money”.

7)         A continuous border wall would likely harm wildlife, destroy sensitive habitat for endangered species, damage the environment and the natural flow of floodwaters, and lead to costly litigation with landowners, the Native American community, and
stakeholders.

8)         Border security is a complex issue that depends on effectively using resources to maintain operational control of the border while also facilitating the movement of people, goods, and services.

9)         The American people want Congress to use taxpayer dollars wisely and focus on middle-class priorities, including economic development, education, and health care.

SEC. 3: Prohibition of Building a U.S.—Mexico Border Wall

The Executive Order titled “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” signed by the President on January 25, 2017, or any other substantially similar executive order, memorandum, or other action by the President to use taxpayer dollars and
fees to construct a continuous wall or fence between Mexico and the United States, shall have no force or effect.