President Donald Trump hailed a federal judge’s ruling that building his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border could go forward in California as a “big victory,” but pledged none of the barriers will be built — even those portions the Golden State wants — until the whole project is approved.
California’s Democrat Attorney General Xavier Bacerra and other interest groups filed a suit seeking to block the Trump administration’s building of the wall based on environmental objections, Fox News reported.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled on Tuesday that the federal government has the authority to override environmental laws in the interest of national security.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “Big victory yesterday with ruling from the courts that allows us to proceed. OUR COUNTRY MUST HAVE BORDER SECURITY!”
“I have decided that sections of the Wall that California wants built NOW will not be built until the whole Wall is approved,” he wrote.
Trump’s reference to the parts of the wall that California wants to be replaced may have been regarding a recent project undertaken in downtown Calexico, 120 miles east of San Diego.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the existing fence first put in place in the 1990s — using recycled metal scraps from an airfield landing mat — is slated to be torn down and replaced with bollard-style posts that are 30 feet tall.
“Although the existing wall has proven effective at deterring unlawful cross border activity, smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years, resulting in costly repairs,” according to a statement by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol released last week.
“El Centro Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling,” the CBP added. “In fiscal year 2017, the El Centro Sector apprehended 18,633 illegal aliens, seized 5,554 pounds of marijuana, 483 pounds of cocaine, and 1,526 pounds of methamphetamine and 2,521 ounces of heroin.”
Trump reported on Wednesday a “45 year low on illegal border crossings this year. Ice and Border Patrol Agents are doing a great job for our Country. MS-13 thugs being hit hard.”
In response to Curiel’s ruling against the state of California, Becerra stated that his office “will evaluate all of our options and (is) prepared to do what is necessary to protect our people, our values, and our economy from federal overreach.”
“A medieval wall along the U.S.-Mexico border simply does not belong in the 21st century,” Becerra said.
Approximately one-third of the 2,000-mile border currently has fencing or barriers of some type. Around 350 miles is pedestrian fencing, usually about 15 feet tall, like in San Diego, and 300 miles consists of vehicle barriers.
Eight prototypes of Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” were completed in October near San Diego.
Each is 30 feet high. Four are made of concrete, while the four others incorporate concrete among other construction materials.
Reuters reported that the president is slated to visit the location in mid-March to inspect the prototypes and will be deciding which version or versions will be used if Congress authorizes the funding.
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