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Jan 15, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC (January 15, 2021) – Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) released the following statement after sending a letter, along with Reps. Levin (CA-49) and Jacobs (CA-53), demanding that U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stop border wall construction at Friendship Park.


"Today, I sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding that they halt border wall construction projects at Friendship Park.  The President should be using his last days in office to prioritize resources to combat the spread of COVID-19. This is a last-ditch effort from the Trump administration to fulfill an anti-immigrant and racist agenda.


"I am concerned that this administration continues to use federal resources to fund border wall construction rather than addressing the public health and economic crisis. Our nation is confronting an unprecedented pandemic, we need to prioritize our resources to properly address COVID-19.


"Even as our nation grapples with the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19, the Trump administration is focused on replacing an existing 18-foot fence with a 30-foot fence. Furthermore, it is my understanding that the border section that is being replaced was recently upgraded and may not be due for replacement. 


In addition, local organizations and constituents in my district have dedicated their time and resources to Friendship Park.  The new replacement wall will destroy the intent of this binational park, set by former First Lady Pat Nixon in 1971, to foster friendship and goodwill between Mexico and the United States.”


Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fifth term in Congress.