Media Advisory, December 5, 2019

Contact:

Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433, Ljordahl@biologicaldiversity.org

Hundreds Expected Saturday at Tucson Border Wall Protest With Rep. Grijalva

TUCSON, Ariz.— Arizona leaders and activists will join U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D.-Ariz.) in Tucson on Saturday to protest President Donald Trump’s border wall. The 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall under construction in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge will block wildlife migration, destroy archeological sites and imperil endangered species and protected wilderness.

“With his border-wall obsession, President Trump continues disregarding the voices, experiences, and needs of those of us who call the borderlands home,” said Grijalva. “Through environmental waivers and stolen funds, he’s building a wall that would divide families, further militarize our communities, and destroy the environmental treasures that make the borderlands unique. I’m grateful to the activists, organizations, and individuals united against this monstrosity, and will continue working to oppose funding for Trump’s useless border wall.”

What: U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, U.S. military veterans, and environmental, indigenous and humanitarian groups will speak out against Trump’s border wall and the destruction it’s causing across Arizona.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m.

Where: Federal Building Plaza, 300 W. Congress St., Tucson, Arizona

Media availability: Grijalva, Romero and local activists with environmental, indigenous and humanitarian organizations will be available for interviews.

Background

More than 100 miles of new border wall are planned or underway across Arizona, paid for with funds Trump diverted from Defense Department budgets. Wall construction is already occurring through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge. Construction is scheduled to begin soon in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Coronado National Memorial, the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and numerous designated wilderness areas.

To rush wall construction, Trump waived dozens of laws that protect public lands, cultural resources, sacred sites and endangered wildlife. The administration is extracting millions of gallons of groundwater to mix concrete for the border wall, imperiling rare desert springs that are home to endangered species.

The Center and allies have sued to challenge Trump’s emergency declaration, which would fund this border-wall construction. The Center’s first border-related lawsuit, filed with Grijalva in 2017 in U.S. District Court in Tucson, seeks to require the Trump administration to do a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of its border-enforcement program. These suits are pending.

A 2017 study by the Center identified more than 90 endangered or threatened species that would be threatened by wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.

Border_Wall_Organ_Pipe_Cactus_NM_Laiken_Jordahl_Center_FPWC-scr.jpg
Trump’s border wall under construction at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Photo: Laiken Jordahl. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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