Bill Text: $1.375B for Current Types of 'Pedestrian Fencing,' But Not Near Parks, Refuges, Butterfly Center

By Susan Jones | February 14, 2019 | 7:48 AM EST

President Donald Trump's border wall prototypes stand near the U.S.-Mexico border on July 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. Congress is forbidding him to build such walls. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - President Trump is getting only $1,375,000,000 for "the construction of primary pedestrian fencing, including levee pedestrian fencing, in the Rio Grande Valley," and the money comes with restrictions.

Trump's proto-type walls, such as the ones he visited last year  in San Diego, are prohibited; the congressionally mandated "pedestrian fencing" may not be erected in wildlife refuges, state parks, or the National Butterfly Center; and "physical barriers" may not be built in cities and other jurisdictions until federal officials and local politicians reach mutual agreement on the design and location of those barriers.

According to the bill:

-- The amounts designated ($1.375 billion) "shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017...such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety."

-- None of the funds made available by this Act or prior Acts are available for the construction of pedestrian fencing --

(1) within the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge;

(2) within the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State 14 Park;

(3) within La Lomita Historical park;

(4) within the National Butterfly Center;

(5) within or east of the Vista del Mar Ranch tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

-- Before using money to build "physical barriers" inside city limits, the Department of Homeland Security and local elected officials "shall confer and seek to reach mutual agreement regarding the design and alignment of physical barriers within that city. Such consultations shall continue until September 30, 2019 (or until agreement is reached, if earlier) and may be extended beyond that date by agreement of the parties, and no funds made available in this Act shall be used for such construction while consultations are continuing."

The bill lists those Texas cities and localities as Roma; Rio Grande City; Escobares; La Grulla; and Salineno.

-- Not later than July 1, 2019, the Homeland Security Secretary shall issue notices for public comment regarding construction of pedestrian fencing in the five cities/localities listed above. The public will have at least 60 days to submit comments on the location of the proposed fencing. And at the end of the comment period, DHS will have 90 days to publish in the federal register its responses to the comments, along with its plans for construction in the designated areas.

This photograph shows the type of existing "levee fencing" specified in the compromise border security deal. This levee is located near McAllen, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The bill gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) $7.6 billion -- $512 million more than the FY 2018 level -- "to enhance immigration enforcement and provide for the safe and humane supervision of those found to be in violation of immigration laws."

The bill provides for an average of 45,274 detention beds per day, an increase of nearly 5,000 beds over FY2018.

The bill also gives ICE “flexibility to enforce the law and places no arbitrary cap on ICE detention.”

President Trump has said he will wait to see what the actual bill says before deciding whether to sign it.


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