Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 17, 2018

Contact: Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433, 

Flagstaff City Council Votes to Oppose Trump’s Border Wall

Resolution Calls for Ban on Business With Border Wall Contractors

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— The Flagstaff City Council voted Tuesday to oppose President Trump’s proposed border wall and prevent the city from doing business with companies that agree to build it. The resolution denounces Trump's Jan. 25 executive order to expand the border wall and increase border militarization, citing concerns for wildlife, communities and human rights.

“The mayor and council are taking a courageous stand by fighting Trump’s destructive, divisive border wall,” said Laiken Jordahl, a borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity. “They’re denouncing Trump’s reckless attack on people and wildlife in our borderlands and spotlighting Flagstaff’s resolve and compassion. Kudos to the folks who elected them.”

The resolution lists many reasons for the city’s opposition to border-wall expansion, including the more than 7,000 migrant deaths caused by border militarization and existing sections of the wall. The resolution also cites the wall’s widespread harm to public lands and wildlife, including many species protected by the Endangered Species Act. The resolution notes that the Tohono O’odham Nation opposes the wall, which would bisect the tribe’s land, destroy sacred tribal sites and impede cross-border movements for traditional and ceremonial purposes.

“I oppose any barrier that leads to human suffering and environmental degradation and advocate for divestment from corporations that profit from such humanitarian and ecological disasters,” said Councilwoman Eva Putzova, who introduced the resolution. “I was a child in former Czechoslovakia when the Iron Curtain finally collapsed. Any physical barrier to keep people in or out and prevent open contact is a tool of totalitarian regimes.”

Flagstaff joins 30 other cities, counties, towns and tribal nations that have passed similar resolutions opposing the border wall, beginning with the Tohono O’odham Nation last February.

“Trump has placed our beautiful borderlands in his crosshairs to fulfill a campaign promise rooted in white supremacy,” said Jordahl. “Flagstaff has rejected the narrative of fear and division that has plagued our national border policy for too long.”

“We are proud of our mayor and council and the way that they are representing the values of our community,” said Robert Neustadt, a volunteer with the group Keep Flagstaff Together/Mantengamos Flagstaff Unida. “The border wall is an abomination that has funneled thousands of people into the remote Sonoran desert to die. The time has come to state loudly and clearly that we oppose the wall and everything it represents. Flagstaff is a welcoming and inclusive community.”

The Tempe City Council will consider a similar resolution at its meeting Jan. 18.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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