/ Modified feb 18, 2020 12:03 p.m.

Homeland Security waives contracting laws for border wall

The move is expected to speed construction and bring the president closer to his pledge of 450 miles by year's end.

Border Wall Construction Construction underway on a section of border wall in Organ Pipe National Monument, Sept. 18, 2019.
AZPM

SAN DIEGO — President Donald Trump's administration is waiving federal contracting laws to speed construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it'll allow 177 miles of wall to be built faster in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and bring the Republican president closer to his pledge of 450 miles by year's end.

A 2005 law gives the Homeland Security secretary sweeping powers to waive laws to expedite border barrier construction.

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf tells Fox News Channel he hopes the move “will accelerate some of the construction that's going along the Southwest border.” The move is expected to spark criticism the Trump administration is overstepping its authority.

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