Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, June 20, 2018

Contact: Paulo Lopes, (202) 849-8398,

House to Consider Two Hardline Immigration Bills That Fully Fund Trump's Wall

'Compromise' Legislation Would Be Equally Disastrous for Environment, Wildlife

WASHINGTON— The U.S. House of Representatives will consider two immigration bills tomorrow that would fully fund Trump’s wall and increase border militarization. Both bills come amid withering criticism of the Trump administration’s policy of separating refugee and immigrant children from their families.

“These cynical bills demonstrate how heartless House Republicans really are,” said Paulo Lopes with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead of a clean bill to immediately end Trump’s horrifying policy of ripping families apart, they’re holding immigrant children hostage. Terrified little kids are being used as bargaining chips for Trump’s ridiculous wall, which will destroy border wildlands, tear apart communities and forever tarnish our country’s reputation.”

The first bill, H.R. 4760, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), would allocate $25 billion for border enforcement, including $9 billion to construct Trump’s wall, ignoring threats to endangered species, public lands and border communities. The bill would provide no path to citizenship for Dreamers eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and would eliminate the Diversity Immigrant Visa and Family-Based Immigrant Visa programs.

The second bill, H.R. 6136, pushed by Speaker Paul Ryan (R- Wis.), would allocate nearly $24 billion for border enforcement, including $16.6 billion for border-wall construction. The bill would end the Diversity Immigrant Visa program and curb family-based migration.

Last fall President Trump rescinded the DACA program, which provided protection for 1.8 million Dreamers — young, undocumented people brought to the United States as children — from deportation.

“Trump’s ploy to exploit the Dreamers’ plight to advance his extreme anti-immigrant agenda was shameful enough,” Lopes said. “If he had an ounce of compassion for these brave young people, he’d tell Speaker Ryan to allow a vote on the Dream Act, without demanding the border wall as a ransom payment.”

Environmental and immigrant rights groups have opposed using DACA recipients as bargaining chips for the destructive border wall and other hardline immigration policies. While 86 percent of the public supports reinstating protections for DACA recipients, Republicans have never allowed a vote on H.R. 3440, the Dream Act, to come to the floor.

A recent study by the Center identified more than 90 endangered or threatened species that would be threatened by wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.

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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