Washington D.C. — Today, Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to waive environmental laws to continue border wall construction: 

“The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to cast aside laws that protect clean air, safe drinking water, public participation and private property is shameful, and will not make anyone safer. These latest waivers of 28 environmental and public health protections are a direct attack on our communities, our wildlife, and our deep economic and cultural connection to our neighbors in Mexico.

Perhaps most troubling is that the Administration issued these waivers in the middle of a public comment period, blindsiding local officials, property owners and Congress, while steamrolling public input. Despite thousands of members of the public formally weighing against the border wall proposal, it’s now clear that the Administration never intended to take these concerns seriously.

As I’ve said time and time again, Trump’s wall is costly, ineffective and inhumane. It runs contrary to our deepest core values as Americans. Last week’s waivers show us that the Administration is happy to seize family farms, bulldoze wildlife refuge tracts, and throw our communities under the bus — so long as it will bring the President’s racist campaign promise closer to reality.”