Berkeley Becomes First U.S. City to Divest From Companies Involved in President Trump’s Border Wall | NBC Bay Area

Berkeley Becomes First U.S. City to Divest From Companies Involved in President Trump’s Border Wall

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    Berkeley Becomes First U.S. City to Divest From Companies Involved in President Trump’s Border Wall
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    File photo: A Border Patrol vehicle sits along the U.S.-Mexico border wall on January 25, 2017 in San Ysidro, California. U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order to begin the process of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and is expected to sign an executive order that would suspend the United States' broader refugee program for 125 days. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

    In an unanimous vote, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution this week to divest from any company involved with President Donald Trump’s border wall.

    Berkeley, home of the Free Speech Movement, where a protest against right- wing provocateur and former Brietbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos recently turned violent, became the first city in the country to pass such a law, the East Bay Express reported.

    Berkeley is also a sanctuary city.

    "Our city is one that is known for breaking down walls, not building them," Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin said, according to the Express. "We will continue in that tradition regardless of what happens at the federal level.”

    The city will divest not just from contractors who work on the construction of the wall, but also anyone who designs, finances or involves itself with the project in any way.

    The Express published names of the companies which have expressed interest in building Trump’s border wall, as published on the federal website FedBizOpps.gov.

    One of the companies on the list include Shimmick Construction company, which has existing contracts with the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, whose directors last month introduced a "sanctuary in transit" policy to protect its riders. In response to the president's budget proposal released Thursday, BART tweeted the proposal, as it stands right now, would eliminate 32 perent of funding for the agency's extension to San Jose. 

    "The president’s change in policy would drastically shift funding downstream, and likely hit local users the hardest," BART tweeted.

    The Berkeley City Council’s agenda item includes the following statement regarding the divestment:

    “The City of Berkeley recognizes the harm and stigma such action causes Latino people in California and throughout the nation, We recognize that immigration has been a part of our country’s history since its founding and do not believe in demonizing people of Mexican and Latin American descent. Furthermore, the construction of a border wall would waste an enormous amount of taxpayer money, hurt the environment, contribute to climate change, divide ancestral native lands, disrupt tribal communities, increase international tensions, and reinforce failed Cold War policies of isolationism and exclusion.”

    The City of Oakland is also working on approving similar legislation.

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