Border lawmakers urge Trump to halt wall construction, divert funds to fight COVID-19

By Rafael Carranza | Arizona Republic 

 Three Democratic lawmakers representing congressional districts along the U.S.-Mexico border demanded that Donald Trump’s administration halt all construction of its long-promised border wall, saying it is endangering the lives of millions of border residents as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Reps Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., and Filemon Vela, D-Texas, sent letters to the leaders of the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the Homeland Security Department urging the Trump administration to instead redirect wall-construction funds to fighting COVID-19. 

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, also signed the three-page letter.

“At a time when we are all taking extraordinary steps to limit the death toll and economic devastation wrought by this unprecedented pandemic, it is deeply concerning to learn that government officials, contractors and construction workers in border communities will defy public health orders and continue border wall construction unabated, perhaps even accelerating construction in our border communities,” the lawmakers’ letter said.

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