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Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

DHS to Address Life, Safety, Environmental, and Operational Considerations for Specific Border Barrier Projects

Release Date: July 27, 2021

WASHINGTON ‚Äď Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas approved four projects in the Rio Grande Valley, San Diego, and El Centro Sectors to address life, safety, environmental, and operational considerations related to the Department's plan for the use of Border Barrier funds.¬†¬†¬†

"These projects are reflective of the commitment of DHS to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of communities along the border, individuals encountered there, and our Border Patrol Agents who patrol the area," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "We remain focused on securing the border and keeping communities safe." 

These projects do not involve building new border barriers and are consistent with the guiding principles in the DHS Border Plan to prioritize projects needed to address life, safety, environmental, operational, or other remediation requirements.  DHS continues to prioritize the deployment of modern, effective border measures and technology as this work continues. 

The projects include: 

  • Ensuring power is fully restored to municipalities¬†on both sides of the border along the El Centro Sector Utility Relocation Project.¬†
  • Addressing numerous serious safety risks and environmental restoration¬†issues at the Rio Grande Valley Sector Make Safe and Punch List Project.¬†
  • Powering San Diego Secondary Gates and Replacing Drainage Grates¬†to ensure that 33 vehicle gates that have been hung and built within the San Diego Secondary barrier alignment are operable and necessary work to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation is carried out.¬† Once completed, these gates will provide Border Patrol Agents with critical access and mitigate life and safety risk for agents and migrants who may need emergency assistance in the area.¬†¬†In addition, there are 15 drainage grates requiring replacement and repairs in this same area that pose a risk to migrants and agents.¬†
  • Repairing and reinforcing a small fence¬†between existing San Diego border segments.¬†

DHS continues to review other paused border barrier projects presenting life, safety, environmental, or other remediation needs and will continue to conduct environmental planning.  

The Biden-Harris Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smart border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border. 



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