Senator Hueso urges the Biden Administration, DHS to preserve Friendship Park

Operation of park does not pose threat to national security
July 08, 2022

SAN DIEGO – Senator Ben Hueso (D-40) is urging the President Joe Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to pause their plans of building a border wall that threatens the Friendship Park in Imperial Beach and work with community organizations to preserve the binational symbol of hope.

“Since its creation over 50 years ago, Friendship Park in Imperial Beach has been a symbol of hope for two communities united by a single vision,” Senator Hueso said. “More recently, Friendship Park’s Friendship Circle has provided a gathering place where U.S. families can visit their deported family members.”

During the park’s dedication on Aug. 18, 1971, First Lady Pat Nixon ordered a stretch of barbed wire fence be cut out so she could cross into Mexico to meet a crowd that had gathered to welcome her to the border. This was a moment that the First Lady hoped would solidify strong ties between U.S. and Mexico.

“The operation of Friendship Park does not pose a threat to border security, while the benefits of this iconic site provide a connection between families separated by immigration policies,” Hueso said.

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security revealed plans to restructure the border barrier which could destroy the park and end the legacy of friendship.

“It is disappointing to see the Biden Administration take these actions which will undo decades of community building work by local organizations on both sides of the border,” Hueso said. “I hope the Department of Homeland Security pauses these plans and begins to work with community organizations, like Friends of Friendship Park, to find a solution which preserves Friendship Park and the vision it sought to create over 50 years ago.”