“DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Projects in Yuma & El Paso” & Arizona (DHS.GOV)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two waivers, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma and El Paso sectors in Arizona and Texas. The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 53 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to, road construction and improvement and lighting installation. The waivers were published in the Federal Register on April 24, 2019.

To support DHS’s actions under Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (IIRIRA), DHS requested that the Department of Defense (DoD), pursuant to its authority under 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7), assist with the construction of fences, roads, and lighting within specified locations of the border in order to block drug-smuggling corridors across the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that the projects covered by these waivers meet the statutory requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7). As such, these projects will be funded by appropriations available to DoD.

DoD, in close coordination with DHS/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will plan and execute these projects in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE awarded the contracts for these projects on April 9, 2019. The Yuma projects were awarded to Barnard Construction Co. Inc. for approximately $187 million and the El Paso project was awarded to SLSCO Ltd. in the amount of $789 million.

These waivers are pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and cover a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws.  Congress provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS’s border security mission.  Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.  In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress mandated the installation of additional fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border.  Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA.

The geographic scope of the Yuma waiver covers the areas defined below. These projects will total approximately 7 miles of bollard wall within these areas.

  1. Starting at the Morelos Dam and extending south and generally following the Colorado River for approximately five and one-half (5.5) miles.
  2. Starting two and one-half (2.5) miles east of Border Monument 198 and extending east to Border Monument 197.

The geographic scope of the El Paso waiver covers the areas defined below. These projects will total up to approximately 46 miles of bollard wall within these areas:

  1. Starting at Border Monument 31 and extending east to Border Monument 23.
  2. Starting at approximately one (1) mile west of Border Monument 20 and extending east to Border Monument 9.

www.dhs.gov/news/2019/04/26/dhs-issues-waiver-expedite-border-wall-projects-yuma-el-paso

Release Date:
April 26, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall that will replace approximately 26 miles of existing primary pedestrian wall near the international border in the state of Arizona within U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) Yuma Sector.

The waiver was published in the Federal Register on April 24, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin construction as early as April 24, 2019.

The approximately 26 mile fence replacement project covered by this waiver is funded by CBP’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Appropriation. It is not a project undertaken pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration, 10 U.S.C § 284, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, nor does it draw from any other source of funding, including appropriations available to the Department of Defense (DoD). Approximately 4 of the 26 miles for this project were originally included in DHS’s February 25, 2019, Request for Assistance to DoD, which requested DoD’s assistance in constructing fences, roads, and lighting pursuant to DoD’s authority under 10 U.S.C § 284(b)(7). However, DHS recently amended the Request for Assistance to remove those four miles from inclusion in DoD’s border barrier projects under 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7). As such, these miles will be constructed as part of the project covered by this waiver and will be funded by CBP’s FY18 Appropriation.

This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and covers a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws. Congress provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS’s border security mission.  One of these authorities is found at section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (“IIRIRA”). Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.

In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress mandated the installation of additional fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border. Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary’s sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA.

The geographic scope of this waiver covers the two areas defined below. This project will replace a total of approximately 26 miles of existing primary pedestrian wall located within these areas.

  1. Starting west of the intersection of County 21 ½ Street and West Main Canal Road extending south and generally following the Colorado River approximately one and six tenths (1.6) miles to the point where the Colorado River crosses the international border between the United States and Mexico.
  2. Starting approximately one mile west of the San Luis, Arizona Land Port of Entry and extending east to approximately two and one half (2.5) miles east of Border Monument 198.

www.dhs.gov/news/2019/04/26/dhs-issues-waiver-expedite-replacing-existing-border-wall-arizona