October 20, 2009
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, Sierra Club, 512.477.2152
Sierra Club Cheers Approval of "No Border Wall" Homeland Security Funding Bill
Statement from Sierra Club Washington Representative Michael Degnan
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. Senate passed H.R.2892, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010, sending the bill to President Obama’s desk. The bill passed out of Congress without a provision mandating construction of additional border walls, marking the first time that a proposal to build more border walls was defeated in Congress. A border wall provision offered by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), included in the Senate bill, was stripped during conference with the House of Representatives.
In response, Sierra Club Washington Representative Michael Degnan issued the following statement:
"Today’s action marks the first time that a border wall proposal has been defeated in Congress. We congratulate the Congress for rejecting an irresponsible proposal to build more than 300 more miles of unnecessary border walls.
"Our government has already poured billions of dollars into building walls and barriers across 600 miles of the U.S./Mexico border. Although the effectiveness of these walls has never been measured, the negative impacts to communities and wildlife is clear. Border walls have separated families, caused damaging floods and erosion, and fractured habitat and migration corridors vital to wildlife that has been pushed to the brink of extinction.
"We hope that this historic action signals a readiness to permanently move our country’s border policy beyond construction of costly and destructive border walls."