Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Build Border Wall South of Rio Grande

“We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico.” – Interior Secretary Zinke

Washington, DC – Earlier today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Public Lands Council that the Trump Administration plans to physically build the proposed border wall on the southern bank of the Rio Grande River in Mexican territory.

According to E&E News, Zinke said: “The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall…The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

The Rio Grande river runs along more than 1,200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

“First, President Trump proposed building a wall on our southern border and having Mexico pay for it. Now his administration is planning to build a wall in Mexico and have Americans pay for it,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “Logistically, this latest proposal to build the wall in Mexico raises a host of legal, procurement, and long-term issues.”

Last week American Oversight launched “Audit the Wall” a long-term investigative resource center for members of the public to review documentation related to President Trump’s proposed border wall.

Evers continued, “Even if Secretary Zinke is incorrect, he does raise a very serious point: does President Trump plan to cede the Rio Grande river – a vital source of water for residents and the agriculture industry – to Mexico? As the president discovered with health reform, this issue also is ‘complicated.’ Americans need clear answers to these difficult problems before billions of our tax dollars are spent.”

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