(KGTV) - United States Customs and Border Protection officials have put a pause on a plan to replace the border wall near the international park known as Friendship Park. “We want to make sure that as many stakeholders as possible can provide input into what design would make sense,” said Pedro Rios with the American Friends Service Committee.
In a statement released on Thursday CBP wrote, “CBP has paused all primary and secondary border barrier construction in the area immediately surrounding Friendship Park, a half-acre binational park located along the United States-Mexico border in the San Diego–Tijuana region, to engage with community stakeholders and to discuss the planned construction to rebuild barrier sections requiring repair in this area.”
In the past, family and friends could use the park as a place to gather on either side of the border.
According to the group Friends of Friendship Park, the park has been completely closed to the public on the US side since 2020.
In its press release CBP stated, “CBP is committed to preserving access to Friendship Park and, upon completion of the barrier construction in the Friendship Park area, CBP is committed to opening the park a minimum of two days each month, allowing members of the public back into the park for the first time since 2019.”
Representative Juan Vargas celebrated the pause calling it a welcome step in the right direction.
In a statement Vargas wrote, “I am pleased that CBP has listened to my concerns and is pausing the border remediation projects in and around Friendship Park,” said Rep. Vargas. “Since its inauguration in 1971, Friendship Park has been a testament to the U.S.-Mexico relationship and has allowed families to come together. The proposed projects would bar public access to Friendship Park, preventing it from serving communities on both sides of the border.”
Advocates also called the pause in construction a small victory.