Washington D.C. - Congressmen Filemon Vela (TX-34) and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) urge House appropriators to exclude historic cemeteries from wall funding in the fiscal year 2020 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. This new language would expand on previous legislation which prevents the construction of the border wall within the Sana Ana Wildlife Refuge, the National Butterfly Center, and other sensitive areas.

“Congressman Gonzalez and I have urged Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard to expand protections that block border wall in sensitive areas to include historic cemeteries,” said Congressman Vela. “We are pleased to see language that prohibits border wall construction in the House Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The support by this administration and some Members of Congress for previous border wall funding has been proven to be misguided. The administration’s obsession with border wall funding at the expense of all other rational border security and immigration measures ha

s wreaked havoc on both fronts. Prohibiting the construction of border wall on historical burial sites secures the integrity of these sacred grounds. I will continue to work with Representative Gonzalez and other colleagues in Congress to preserve sensitive border sites that are rich with culture and history.”

“After a number of descendants of people interred at these gravesites came to us concerned about this issue, we sent a letter to Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard,” Congressman Gonzalez said. “We know that the fight is not over, and urge the House Appropriations Committee to retain language protecting these cemeteries. To me, this is about respecting the dead, and allowing them to rest peacefully at the Eli Jackson Cemetery and any other cemetery that may be in the path of a border wall.”