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Homeland Security issues waivers to ramp up improved border fencing



by Allen Cone

Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday it has issued waivers of environmental and historical preservation laws to speed construction of fencing between California and Mexico.

The waivers protect border barriers near Calexico, Calif., from federal regulations such as Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, the department said in a news release.

The department described it as "an area of high illegal entry" that is a "critical sector for border security." In fiscal year 2016, the United States Border Patrol "apprehended more than 19,400 illegal aliens and seized approximately 2,899 pounds of marijuana and approximately 126 pounds of cocaine in the El Centro Sector," according to Homeland Security.

This project is approximately a three-mile segment that starts at the Calexico West port of entry and extends westward, replacing approximately two miles of the existing primary pedestrian fence with a new "bollard wall," the department said.

The Border Patrol plans to build 18-to-25-foot fencing that replaces the existing 14-foot fencing built in the 1990s, The Hill reported. The waiver also allows improvement of Border Patrol service roads.

Read more: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/09/12/Homeland-Security-issues-waivers-to-ramp-up-improved-border-fencing/8291505237888/