In February, the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) started waiving procurement regulations in order to speed up the construction of the U.S./Mexico border wall. According to the DHS, eliminating procurement regulations will allow 177 miles of wall to be built more quickly in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
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What Waiving Regulations Will Do For The Border Wall
The targeted regulations primarily consist of the contracting, pricing, and wage protocols that each state must follow during federal construction. The Trump administration and the DHS decided to fast track the wall’s construction to better secure the country from illegal drugs and individuals from crossing the border. According to Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf, it allows the department to speed up it’s contracts anywhere from “30 to 45 to 60 days”.
Response For Fast Tracking Border Wall Construction
Opponents of the waivers argue President Trump is overstepping the limits of his power by invoking section 102 of immigration law to waive more than 40 federal regulations. The latest waivers were criticized by D-Tucson Representative, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Vicki Gaubeca, Director of the Southern Communities Coalition, stating they are stripping Congress of its constitutional power and control of the budget.
According to Heather Swift, spokeswoman for Homeland Security, the U.S. remains in a border emergency with more than 36,000 people caught trying to enter the country illegally and 54,000 narcotics seized at the border in January alone.
How Much Of The Border Wall Has Been Built So Far
In the months since the Trump administration began waiving regulations, progress has slowed down due to COVID-19. So far, 216 miles of wall has been constructed as opposed to the 500 DHS that was estimated. While it’s construction continues to be slowed down, plans are underway to continue.
Local Governments Also Address Immigration Law
While the border wall may reduce the flow of illegal immigration, local governments continue to pass policies to handle exisiting illegal immigrant populations. For instance, several immigrants are seeking refuge in “sanctuary cities”, where local municipalities limit their cooperation with the national government effort to enforce immigration law. Following the passage of Arizona SB 1070, Arizona has banned sanctuary cities within the state.
Stay Up-To-Date On The Latest Construction Regulation Trends
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