Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Biggs Leads Letter to President Trump over Demands to Create Openings in the Border Wall

July 2, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congressman Andy Biggs, along with Representatives Brian Babin, Jim Banks, Jodey Arrington, and Tom Tiffany, sent a letter to President Donald Trump to encourage him to oppose demands to create openings in the border wall or breaches to the wall’s security.

Representatives Biggs, Babin, Banks, Arrington, and Tiffany released the following statements:

“Border security is national security, and countless Americans are grateful to President Donald Trump for prioritizing border security in his administration. Thanks to his persistent efforts to keep his promises, President Trump has led the construction of over 200 miles of border fencing – a remarkable achievement. Unfortunately, there are many in Congress and around the nation who seek to thwart his efforts to protect Americans and to enforce the rule of law. That’s why I lead congressional delegations to the border to hear from the agents and ranchers who know what is being done correctly or what Congress and the administration can do differently. I’m thankful for all of my colleagues who joined me on this last trip.” – Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05)

“An unsecured southern border is one of the greatest threats we face. With attempts to smuggle illicit drugs and humans into the U.S. happening daily, and an ongoing global pandemic, weakening our defense is not an option. We need to build on the success of our brave border agents who work tirelessly to protect our nation’s sovereignty and citizens, and not allow any opportunity for dangerous cartels to take advantage of us along our border.” – Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36)

“I oppose any effort to weaken the border wall’s effectiveness. It’s crazy we even have to say this, but we should prioritize American’s safety over the travel patterns of ‘larger mammals.’ The wall works, but it doesn’t work as well when there are large holes in it.” – Congressman Jim Banks (IN-03)

“I’ve done the analysis. And here’s my conclusion: what good is a wall with a hole in it?”Congressman Jodey Arrington (TX-19)

“Americans are tired of special interest groups opening loopholes in our immigration laws and undermining common-sense border security efforts. We need to put the public safety and national security needs of America first and get this project done.” – Congressman Tom Tiffany (WI-07)

Read the text of the letter below:

July 2, 2020

 

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump,

Thank you for your steadfast leadership to secure our southern border. We applaud the progress you have made to build more than two hundred miles of new, secure fencing that is directly increasing the safety of American communities.

During a recent trip to the Arizona border, we heard concerning reports that activists are calling on your administration to cut wildlife passthroughs into the new border wall. We were surprised to hear that these demands, which will lower the wall’s effectiveness, are being considered. According to an April 2020, article from Arizona Daily Star, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) spokesman commented that CBP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working to “identify strategies to accommodate larger mammals, such as jaguars, while still meeting U.S. Border Patrol’s operational requirements.”[1]

We have already seen the results of having permanent openings in the border wall. Floodgates were installed along certain parts of the border to prevent flooding during the Southwest’s rainy seasons. These gates are commonly opened at the beginning of the summer rains and remain open for months. Predictably, U.S. Border Patrol agents are not the only individuals aware of these openings – drug cartels, human traffickers, and any other individual looking for a way through the barrier use them as an access point. According to a border rancher who we met with during our trip, the gates are no longer opened wide enough for vehicles to drive through, but they are still plenty large enough for traffickers on foot.

Any new opening wide enough for a large animal to fit through will also be large enough for a human to fit through. Wildlife passthroughs will undoubtedly be used by cartels to smuggle drugs and humans into the United States, lowering the effectiveness of the new wall and putting lives at risk.

We encourage you to oppose demands to create openings in the border wall or breaches to the wall’s security. Every official we met with along the border testified to the wall’s effectiveness at deterring illegal activity and increasing the safety of their communities.

Your border wall, along with your strong America First immigration policies, are proving to make America safer. We look forward to working with you to continue these efforts.

Sincerely,

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress

Brian Babin
Member of Congress

Jim Banks
Member of Congress

Jodey Arrington
Member of Congress

Tom Tiffany
Member of Congress

###

 

[1] Tony Davis, “’Kiss Jaguars Goodbye’ in Arizona if Border Wall Cuts Off Access From Mexico,” Arizona Daily Star, April 18, 2020, https://tucson.com/news/local/kiss-jaguars-goodbye-in-arizona-if-border-wall-cuts-off-access-from-mexico/article_fe64ba29-add9-55e4-81bc-3caf8bca6f86.html.