Legislative Letters

30 Environmental Groups Oppose FY25 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

Jun 27, 2024

The League of Conservation Voters led 30 environmental organizations in sending the below letter to the House of Representatives making the following vote recommendation on H.R. 8752, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2025, when it comes up for a vote. The League of Conservation Voters will strongly consider including votes on this legislation and its amendments in our 2024 National Environmental Scorecard.


June 27, 2024

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Please oppose H.R. 8752, which would cause further irreparable damage to our border communities 

Dear Representative,

On behalf of our millions of members and supporters, the undersigned groups urge you to oppose H.R. 8752, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2025 as well as any amendments that are detrimental to our environment, human rights, and public safety.

The divisive, anti-immigrant, and anti-environmental border wall has caused irreparable damage to wilderness, wildlife, and equitable access to nature along our southern border, creating not only ecological damage but also great harm to areas indigenous peoples regard as sacred. H.R. 8752 would expand on that disaster by allocating $600 million in new wall funding, restricted to construction of 18-to-30-foot bollard pedestrian walls with anti-climb and anti-dig features which prevents any adaptation of wall design that helps mitigate community or environmental impacts of construction. The bill requires obligation of these funds no later than 120 days after enactment. H.R. 8752 also fails to meet the president’s FY 2025 budget request for statutory language authorizing the transfer of up to $225 million in funding from the Department of Homeland Security to the land management agencies for environmental and other mitigation activities, including land acquisition, related to border wall construction.

Billions in taxpayer dollars have been spent to build hundreds of miles of unnecessary, wasteful, and harmful border wall. This construction wreaked destruction on the borderlands and the millions who call the border region home, including damaging lands sacred to the O’odham, Carrizo-Comecrudo, and Kumeyaay peoples; desecrating Native American burial sites; dynamiting pristine mountain wilderness; erecting walls in floodplains; separating imperiled wildlife populations; destroying fragile resources in national wildlife refuges, forests, monuments and other public lands; depleting ancient water sources in sensitive desert ecosystems; seizing ranches, farms, and backyards from families; risking lives by forcing migrants to cross into more remote regions; and fomenting dangerous racial hatred against migrants and Indigenous peoples. A 2023 U.S. Government Accountability Office report documented many of these harms.1

Moreover, the construction was exempted from eighty-four cornerstone federal laws along with countless unnamed state and local laws and regulations under the waiver authority provided by the 2005 REAL ID Act. The laws that were bypassed were created to protect the environment, wildlife, religious freedom, historic and cultural sites, and taxpayers’ interest in responsible procurement. Unfortunately, additional waivers were issued in 2023. To date, those waivers of law have not yet been rescinded, thus continuing to deny equal protection under the law to the borderlands and the millions who call the border region home.

Rather than continuing to follow this destructive, misguided, wasteful, and ineffective effort to wall off the entire U.S.-Mexico border, Congress should advance provisions and funding necessary to restore and repair border communities and lands to mitigate the harms that have been inflicted on the border region as swiftly as possible.

Additionally, the legislation includes a poison pill rider targeted at two of the world’s most critically imperiled whales – the North Atlantic right whale and Rice’s whale – which would prevent funds from being used for Coast Guard enforcement of any new vessel speed reduction rule for either of these species. Vessel strikes are one of the top two threats to both species. There are currently proposed amendments to the existing vessel speed rule for right whales, but no new speed restrictions for Rice’s whales are imminent. Poison pill riders such as these, and including the many exclusionary and identity-attacking riders and efforts to combat misinformation in this bill were removed from the final FY24 Homeland bill just a few months ago. By going down this path again, we fear Congress is falling for exclusionary politics and wasting valuable time that could be better spent producing bipartisan legislation that has a realistic chance of becoming law.

Again, we urge you to REJECT H.R. 8752, the FY 2025 Homeland Security appropriations bill, which would perpetuate damages and further harm to indigenous peoples, communities, and the sensitive environment along our southern border, while promoting a hateful and dangerous agenda to ostracize many in our communities and drive further division in our society.


Defenders of Wildlife
League of Conservation Voters


Casa Camino Real Bookstore

Center for Biological Diversity


Clean Water Action

Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks

Cuenca los Ojos


Endangered Species Coalition

Friends of the Earth Action

Friends of the Sonoran Desert

Friends of the Wildlife Corridor

Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Interfaith Power & Light

Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center

Mennonite Central Committee U.S.

Natural Resources Defense Council

Ocean Defense Initiative


San Pedro 100

Sierra Club

Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC)

The Conservation Angler

The Wilderness Society

U.S. partnership for Education for Sustainable Development

Union of Concerned Scientists

Western Nebraska Resources Council

Wildlands Network

  1. U.S. General Accounting Office, Southwest Border: Additional Actions Needed to Address Cultural and Natural Resource Impacts from Barrier Construction (Sept. 5, 2023) (GAO- 23-105443).