Plans to replace border wall near Friendship Park move forward

SAN DIEGO — After a five-month hiatus, US Customs and Border Protection have resumed plans to replace old border walls along the US-Mexico border, where Friendship Park is located.

After months of outreach and feedback, the agency announced that it would resume plans to build new border walls in early 2023. CBP says the area is in need of refurbishment and upgrading to be more secure.

Thirty-foot walls, similar to those seen from many parts of the border, will be extended through Friendship Park, except for a small section that will drop to its current height of 18 feet.

Community group Friends of Friendship Park, strongly opposed to the changes, says the gesture of leaving one piece at 18 feet is not enough. They want the current 18-foot walls to be repaired, not replaced.

The band’s statement on Wednesday reads in part:

“If this plan is carried out as proposed, it will further defile the binational nature of the park and undermine cross-border ties and friendship between the United States and Mexico.”

“I think there are pros and cons for both sides. I really think it’s a disservice to people who actually use this park to see their family. This does a disservice to the looks. I have lived here all my life and use these back roads all the time,” said Nestor resident Billy Driver.

CBP says that once the project is completed, it is committed to providing visitors with access to Friendship Park and their families and friends on the Mexican side of the border at set times through a gate in the secondary barrier.

CBP says it will also restore the binational garden, which community groups say will be destroyed during construction.

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