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Trump's border wall plan faces resistance from local legislatures

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

04-20-2017 06:45 BJT

LOS ANGELES, April 19 (Xinhua) -- "If you want to work on Trump wall, the California will not work with you!!!" Ricardo Lara, California state senator, has said on his official Twitter account.

As the border wall project proposed by President Donald Trump was carrying out by federal agencies, local legislatures in California and Arizona showed their determination to resistance to the last minute and they aimed at different bricks in the wall.

From angle of Lara, building the wall was a huge mistake and a waste of money and resources of U.S. taxpayers, meanwhile companies bid for the construction works were morally indefensible, so he amended a bill this Monday, would prohibit the wall contractors from getting any state project in the future.

Bill 30, previous version of which required California voter approval of any wall construction along the border. The amended one, deleted the vote clause, would be heard April 25 by the state Senate's Governmental Organization Committee.

"This bill would prohibit the state, commencing January 1, 2018, from awarding or renewing any contract with any person, as defined, that at the time of bid or proposal for a new contract or renewal of an existing contract is providing or has provided goods or services to the federal government for the construction of a federally funded wall, fence, or other barrier along California's southern border." the bill said.

"We're not going to allow a wall that harms our environment and our economy," Lara, a Democrat who represents Southeast Los Angeles County, said in a statement released at the same day.

Lara also wrote to the California Chamber of Commerce to seek the support for his bill. Regarding the economy between Mexico and the States, he argued that Mexico people spent a lot of money on shopping in California, and Mexico was one of the largest export market of California. The proposed wall would hurt California's economic market.

There are already around 650 miles (1,100 Kilometers) of fencing along the 2,000 mile (3,380 kilometers) long border between Mexico and the U.S. According to a report by the Department of Homeland Security, a border wall would cost a total of 21.6 billion U.S. Dollars and take three and a half years to construct.

The Border patrol spokesman Ralph DeSio revealed last week that the construction would take place at the Otay Mesa area, San Diego, but did not say the exact place.

San Diego Union Tribune said that up to 450 companies had submitted the designs and 20 companies would win the bidding even though the fund of this massive project had not been secured yet.

The result would be announced on June 1 after the selected 20 companies finished prototypes within 120 feet of the border, the report said.

Besides of Lara's struggling work, according to an article on San Francisco Chronicle last month, San Francisco, Berkley city and Oakland city of California, all would introduce the similar ban to prevent local builders or related organizations from entering the border wall project.

Not only participating building was prohibited, but supplying any material to contractors working on the project, the report emphasized.

While on the other side, James Flanagan, a San Francisco contractor thought it was a little radical by using such bans to stop contractors participating the project.

"My first reaction is why taxpayer dollars are being spent to hold committee meetings to boycott local companies that employ local workers?" he said when interviewed by SF Chronicle.

Outside California State, a lawsuit against the border wall was also filed by an Arizona Congressman and a conservation group, which called for an in-depth investigation of the potential environmental impacts.

The conservation group named the Center for Biological Diversity and Congressman Raul Grijalva believed that border wall would damage the habitats of those threatened species.

According to local KTAR News, the lawsuit sought to require the U.S Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prepare a "programmatic environmental impact statement" for the U.S.-Mexico Border enforcement program, since "some areas within 50 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border have been identified as the 'critical habitat' for at least 25 species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" .

"We filed the lawsuit in consider of all perspectives of environment." Randy Serraglio, from the Center of Biological Diversity told Xinhua, saying the lawsuit "was not because of the immigration or other issues, but only environmental factors."

Grijalva pointed out in a statement issued last Wednesday that "American environmental laws are some of the oldest and strongest in the world, and they should apply to the borderlands. These laws exist to protect the health and well-being of our people, our wild life, and the places they live."

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