Friday, January 28, 2011

Grijalva Congratulates Mariposa Port of Entry on 2010 Federal Project Design Award Following Recovery Act Funding He Championed

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva has congratulated the Mariposa Land Port of Entry federal modernization and expansion project on its recent recognition by the General Service Administration (GSA) as one of government’s best designed facilities. The site, honored at the 2010 GSA Design Awards in Washington, D.C., was one of this year’s 11 winners out of 115 entrants based on architectural design and focus on sustainability.

The recent expansion project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Grijalva worked closely with GSA, the White House Office of Management and Budget and the House Appropriations Committee to advocate for the project before the money was awarded in March of 2009.

“Nogales wouldn’t have one of the nation’s premiere federal facilities if not for the Recovery Act, and I’ve been proud to support the expansion effort from the beginning,” Grijalva said. “Making these wise investments now will improve commerce and save energy and taxpayer dollars in the near future, and we shouldn’t be afraid to embrace federal projects that meet Mariposa’s high standards.”

The 280,000-square-foot Mariposa facility is located on 53 acres of high desert surrounded by expanding industrial and residential development. The award recognizes not only the port’s functionality, but its aesthetic contributions to its surroundings.

Grijalva’s support for the project is part of his longstanding campaign to improve ports of entry across the Southwest. Grijalva wrote a letter to President Obama last June requesting “$300 million for [Customs and Border Protection (CBP)] and the General Services Administration to upgrade technology and infrastructure and ensure adequate CBP staffing across our southwestern border.” His request came as Obama announced 1,200 National Guard troops would be sent to the region without a comparable commitment to CBP operations.

“The people on the ground who work on border issues every day have made their needs clear for a long time,” Grijalva said at the time.