NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- U.S. Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-Westchester), a leading member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has cosponsored legislation that would block President Donald Trump’s executive order to build a wall along the Mexican border.
H.R. 837, the Build Bridges Not Walls Act, would prohibit the implementation of the order, which would construct a costly border wall that would be both ineffective and impractical, according to a release from Engel's office.
“This entire concept of a wall is ridiculous on its face, and will do nothing to fix our immigration system or make the American people safer,” said Engel in a release statement. “From the beginning, the President has peddled this false narrative that he could stop the flow of illegal immigration with a ‘big, beautiful wall’ and it would be paid for entirely by the Mexican people. Obviously, this plan never held water, but since taking office we have come to find his idea for making the Mexican people pay for a wall is by taxing us, the American people, by raising the price we pay for imports."
“House Democrats know that this border wall is a waste of time, energy, and taxpayer money. We will not stand idly by and allow this Executive Order to be implemented without a fight. A border wall would insult millions, disrupt cities and communities along the border, cost a fortune, and do nothing at all to address our security concerns. We need to drop this nonsense immediately and focus on real solutions to the issues that face our nation.”
The United States already maintains 650 miles of border fencing in the areas that most effectively stop the unauthorized entry of people, vehicles, drugs, arms and illicit items, according to the release. The construction of a border wall could cost up to $25 billion, not including additional maintenance costs, the release said. The wall would also likely harm wildlife and damage the local environment along the border.