To: The United States Senate

Fund communities and natural landscapes not senseless walls

I am writing to express my strong opposition to any efforts to pass any appropriation legislation that would continue to fund the construction of a border wall.

Instead of focusing on funding an absurd and hateful wall that will be a waste of taxpayer dollars, do nothing for national security, and put at risk our communities, wild lands and wildlife, Congress should focus on funding critical federal agencies that exist to protect our health and environment.

Border cities are some of the safest in the country and communities with more immigrants are likely to be safer than places with fewer immigrants. The wall, increased militarization of the border region and the destruction of wildlife habitats only benefit special interests who seek to profit at the expense of border communities, which already have a poverty rate about twice as high as the national average.

I urge you to vote against any bill that would fund the construction of a border wall, including the "minibus" bill.

Why is this important?

The 2,000-mile stretch of land between the U.S. and Mexico contains one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America with wildlife such as the endangered Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, bighorn sheep, and ocelot calling it home. It is also where President Trump wants to build a 30-foot border wall.

Not only will a wall between the U.S. and Mexico be disastrous for wildlife and the environment, but it will also threaten the economy and communities living along the border. We need your help to stop it.

Politicians in Washington D.C. are looking to fund the construction of Trump’s wall in the U.S.-Mexico border through unprecedented and underhanded legislative gimmicks. A vote to fund a border wall will soon go up for a vote in the House and we need you to tell your representative to oppose any efforts to fund it.

Construction of a wall is likely to create roadblocks in the migration paths of several threatened and endangered species and will also hinder the natural flow of waterways which could cause devastating flooding, endangering border communities and wildlife.

The border wall is yet another gimmick used by the Trump administration to intimidate communities, particularly Latino and immigrant ones, from exercising their civil rights, including their right to a healthy environment. It is a symbol of fear that would come at the expense of our public lands, wildlife and environmental safeguards that protect border and immigrant communities. It’s justified by fiction, relying on the notion that our border communities must be militarized and somehow deserve fewer protections under the law.

A wall is a distraction from the very real issues border communities face, and a waste of money. Our border communities need funding for schools, environmental clean-up and wildlife protection, not a divisive wall. Tell Congress to fund communities and natural landscapes, not senseless walls.