March 17, 2017

Duckworth Introduces Bill to Rescind President Trump’s Border Wall Executive Order


WASHINGTON, DC - In the wake of President Trump's budget proposal, which irresponsibly cuts countless vital programs across government in part to pay for an unnecessary border wall, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and 21 of her colleagues in introducing a bill to rescind President Trump's executive order to construct a border wall and ramp up the deportations and detentions of undocumented immigrants.

"Hard-working Americans should not be forced to pay billions of dollars for an ineffective border wall as life-saving services are being cut and vital programs are being eliminated," Senator Duckworth said. "The President's budget would weaken our nation and hurt the people of Illinois. If enacted, it will cost the American people dearly."

The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill can be found here.

The executive order, which was signed on January 25, 2017, mandated the immediate planning and construction of a wall along the entirety of the U.S. southern border with Mexico. In his budget yesterday, the President proposed using American taxpayer dollars to build the wall in violation of his campaign promise to make Mexico pay for it.

The non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that it will cost $21 billion to build the wall, not including the costs to acquire land. The GAO also found that DHS has no metrics that show what additional security benefits a border wall would add. There are already some 650 miles of fencing at the border where DHS has determined it is most effective. Areas that have not been walled off include remote mountaintops and difficult to access riverbeds; privately owned land; and areas monitored by aerostats, motion sensors, and other proven force multiplier technologies; and deserts.