San Diego protests against the wall in the border Park of Friendship

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About 60 people protested on Tuesday in front of the Border Patrol barracks in San Diego against the project to build a wall in Friendship Park, where migrants used to meet with family and friends through the holes of the barrier that separates the United States and Mexico.

Daniel Watman, one of the organizers of the protest, told Efe that the Border Patrol summoned the group of Friends of Friendship Park for a closed-door meeting on Wednesday after confirming that it plans to continue plans to build a double wall 9 meters high (30 feet) approved during the Government of Donald Trump (2017-2021).

The Border Patrol has closed the binational park since the pandemic began and now plans to completely close the crossing with a wall, though it has said it plans to leave a gate.

“They told us they will present us with a proposal, but first we want them to suspend the construction of the wall while they carry out a consultation with the community, to check if it is something that those of us who live on the border want,” Watman said.

Pedro Rios, another leader of the Friends of Friendship Park, said that regardless of whether the project has been approved since 2018 in Congress, “we believe that President Joe Biden can order that the construction of the wall be stopped if he takes into account the opinion of the community.”

The Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), on which the Border Patrol depends, recently confirmed to Efe that it will resume the project of building walls in the friendship park area, which had been suspended when President Biden took office in 2021.

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CBP reported that funding for that project was approved along with the construction plan in 2018.

At the protest, protesters hung up photos of families reuniting in the park, and carried messages with names of area lawmakers they asked for their support.

Friendship Park was inaugurated in 1971 by former first lady Pat Nixon as a sign of friendship between the American and Mexican peoples.

When the first wall was built in the area in November 1993, the park remained a gathering point where families would show up on either side of the border to meet new babies, or new marriages, sometimes those returning from the war.

You saw families with members who for various reasons were unable to cross the border.

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