Lawmakers introduce bill to allow private border wall construction

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A government contractor walks beside a completed section of border wall along the Colorado River, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 in Yuma, Ariz. [Photo Credit: AP Photo | Matt York]

Arizona lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would allow private property owners to build walls along the U.S.-Mexico border without city or county interference.

HB 2084, introduced by Arizona House Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-12), with the support of 15 other Republican legislators, would allow entities to build walls without securing city or county building permits as long as they adhere to federal law, such as environmental impact regulations and are located on private lands.

“It’s the federal government’s job to secure the border, and the citizens of Arizona are tired of waiting for Congress to act,” explained Petersen. “We’re fortunate to have a President that has made building the wall a priority, but he can’t do it all, particularly on state and private land.”

He continued, “That’s why I’m introducing legislation allowing organizations to build portions of the wall without excessive government obstruction and red tape. The bill will create a presumption of permission to build the international boundary wall on state land, and it will allow private property owners who want the wall on their land to do so without city or county interference.”

According to the legislation, “a city or town shall not require a nonprofit corporation or property owner to obtain a building or construction permit if all of the following apply:

  1. the permit is for construction of an international boundary wall.
  2. the proposed construction is on or adjacent to the international boundary line.
  3. the land owner has provided written consent for the construction.”

The bill is introduced as funding to build a border wall is stalled in the U.S. Congress.

“While this problem won’t be solved without federal action, Arizona can help by enacting policies that allow streamlined construction of the border wall,” Peterson added.

Original cosponsors include:

  • Rep. Nancy Barto (R-15)
  • Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-5)
  • Rep. Frank Carroll (R-22)
  • Rep. Regina Cobb (R- 5)
  • Rep. David Cook (R-8)
  • Rep. John Fillmore (R-16)
  • Rep. Mark Finchem (R-11)
  • Rep. Travis Grantham (R-12)
  • Rep. John Kavanagh (R-23)
  • Rep. Becky Nutt (R-14)
  • Rep. Kevin Payne (R-21)
  • Rep. Steve Pierce (R-1)
  • Rep. Bret Roberts (R- 11)
  • Rep. T.J. Shope (R-8), Jeff Weninger (R-17)
  • Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray (R-21)

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