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DHS waives environmental laws to expedite border wall construction in Rio Grande Valley

  1. Original Date Announced

    October 11, 2018

    DHS Secretary Nielsen issues a waiver of environmental law requirements to expedite the construction of a border wall in Hidalgo County, Texas. The waiver is issued pursuant to authorities under section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and covers an approximately 14-mile long wall project located in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. [ID #361]

    Press Release: DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Construction Project in Hidalgo County, Texas Federal Register: Notice of Determination for waiver of environmental laws for border wall
  2. Effective Date

    October 11, 2018

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Border
Agencies Affected: CBP

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • September 30, 1996 Under Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (‘‘IIRIRA’’), Congress mandated the installation of additional fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border and Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads authorized by the Act. DHS exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 (c) of IIRIRA on five occasions from 2005 to 2008 and on two occasions in 2017. Go to article on

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