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Nearly a dozen congressmen send letter to committee opposing funding for border wall

July 21, 2017 GMT

Nearly a dozen Congressional members have signed a letter sent to the U.S. House Appropriations Committee opposing funding and the construction of a border wall.

U.S. Reps. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, both co-chairs of the Border Caucus, expressed opposition in the letter to the FY18 Department of Homeland security bill which funds construction of the border wall.

The letter was sent today.

A portion of the letter reads “While the false narrative of a violent and insecure border region has long been used to justify legislation that has negative economic and civil rights impacts on border communities, the southern border is not a war zone. In fact, communities along the southern border are some of the safest in the United States.”

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Another portion reads “To build the existing wall, hundreds of private landowners and municipalities had their property condemned and lawsuits are still dragging through federal courts. The placement of the existing wall also forced U.S. citizens to live in a “no-man’s land,” between border barriers and the actual border. Additional walls would mean that hundreds more would lose the farm and ranch lands that provide economic support for their families and border communities.”

Co-signers of the letter include U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, Ruben Gallegos, D-Arizona, Gene Green,D-Texas, Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, Juan Vargas, D-California, Henry Cuellar, D-Texas and Marck Veasey, D- Texas.

The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote next week on President Donald Trump’s $1.6 billion request to begin construction on the border wall along the U.S. –Mexico border.

“Making American taxpayers pay $1.6 billion for a portion of the wall is asinine,” said Vela, ranking member of the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee, in a press release. “I understand Republicans want to give President Trump one win due to his failed six months in office, but this is just irresponsible. The border wall will rip our community apart, stomp on landowners’ rights, and on the wildlife of the Rio Grande Valley, including the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.”

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