January 5, 2018

WASHINGTON — Reports indicate that the Trump administration is requesting nearly $18 billion to construct border barriers and $15 billion for additional border security, including 5,000 Border Patrol agents.

Astrid Dominguez, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Regional Center for Border Rights, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s astoundingly wasteful border militarization plan to balloon Border Patrol agent numbers and erect a divisive and destructive wall is deeply offensive to border communities. It fails to address border residents’ true needs including oversight and accountability for abusive Customs and Border Protection personnel.

“Increasing the number of agents would have little to no impact on security and would be fiscally irresponsible and unwarranted. Agents are far less busy than before and there’s currently over 2,000 open positions.

“The Department of Homeland Security itself says the border has never been harder to cross undetected. Taking private property and destroying ecosystems to build a wall would be an egotistical monument to the Trump administration’s intolerance and irrationality. Our communities face real health, poverty, education, and disaster relief challenges. We expect lawmakers to focus on real issues like passing the Dream Act and denouncing as a non-starter the folly of squandering $33 billion on measures that would further oppress border communities.”

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