BORDER WALL CONSTRUCTION RESUMES UNDER PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN


The Biden administration outlined its strategies for accelerating work on finishing Donald Trump’s emblematic project.

MYLES TRAPHAGEN DID NOT NEED a government presentation to inform him that the building of the border wall had resumed. On a recent trip to the Coronado National Forest and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona, close to the hamlet of Sasabe, he saw everything he required.
Traphagen was familiar with the region because he served as the Wildlands Network’s coordinator for borders. It was one of the locations he looked at in a thorough analysis detailing the environmental effects of the border wall extension under President Donald Trump, which President Joe Biden halted shortly after taking office. The report was published in July.
Traphagen noticed that water holding tanks and a new staging area were being built. New signs referencing an Arizona trespassing ordinance were attached to the wall. Construction had resumed, according to a security guard on the scene. Later, a Border Patrol officer gave him the go-ahead to depart the area.
“It’s feeling like it felt during border wall construction with Trump,” Traphagen told The Intercept. “I hadn’t felt that on the border in a year and a half, and now it’s like, oh, shit, here we go again.”
Following Traphagen’s visit, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection verified that Biden had restarted construction on the border wall, which was started under Trump. CBP, the Department of Homeland Security’s largest division and the location of the Border Patrol, provided plans to address environmental harm caused by the former president’s signature campaign promise in an online presentation on Wednesday. They also reaffirmed that the wall will continue to be a permanent fixture of the Southwest for many years to come.

RELATED: INDIGENOUS ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AND HELD INCOMMUNICADO FOLLOWING BORDER WALL PROTEST

https://theintercept.com/2020/09/16/indigenous-activists-border-wall-protest/

Repairing gates and roadways as well as filling up wall gaps left after Biden’s construction pause in January 2021 are only a few of the activities that will be resumed. In order to build Trump’s most extensive border wall extensions, CBP utilized explosives to blow through wide swaths of protected terrain, including sacred Native American burial places and unique wildlife habitats. This caused particularly severe environmental harms in southern Arizona.
Senior CBP officials announced in a public webinar that contractors will start returning to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona next month to continue construction on the wall. Since Biden’s halt started, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has authorized a number of border wall-related “remediation” projects. The Tucson sector, the largest operational region for the Border Patrol, and the location of Trump’s most obtrusive and contentious border wall construction, was the first proposal that CBP put out for public feedback.
In order to make room for Trump’s wall, the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument south of Tucson was partially destroyed in EARLY 2020. The press was invited to see this. A rare desert aquifer that supplies Quitobaquito Springs, an oasis revered for centuries by the Hia-Ced O’odham people, was tapped by the administration, prompting months of protests.
After praying and protesting at the construction site, two Hia-Ced O’odham women were later detained, strip-searched, and detained without being allowed to communicate. The prosecution was found to have violated the rights of one of the two women, Amber Ortega, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the judge declared her not guilty of the charges earlier this year.

The Real ID Act gave permission for the contentious work, which included building on federally designated wilderness. The legislation, which was passed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, gives DHS the ability to build border walls in the name of national security without following any laws, including fundamental regulations meant to protect the environment and places of cultural significance.
When CBP sought public input on its initial plans earlier this year, the bulk of those comments were directed at Arizona, with the majority stressing how the wall would affect wildlife migration and heighten the dangers of flooding. In a review of the response it received from the Tucson Sector, CBP observed that “several submissions explicitly identified impacts to the Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, Sonoran Desert pronghorn, bighorn sheep, ocelot, javelina, mountain lion, bear, and other wildlife.” To mitigate potential effects, some readers proposed removing the barrier and leaving the floodgates open.
According to the proposals unveiled last week, CBP would complete low-water crossings and drainages in southern Arizona as well as, in certain cases, reengineer border wall designs to allow for water flow. According to the agency, two contracts have already been given out for work in the state. It was also mentioned that the work in Arizona will involve closing up “small gaps” in the border wall that were left during Biden’s delay. CBP described comparable border activities in other states.
When asked if it anticipated a time when the barriers might be taken down, CBP responded that it did not.
“At this point in time,” said Shelly Barnes, the environmental planning lead for the Border Patrol’s infrastructure portfolio, “there are no current plans to remove sections of the barrier.”

REFERENCES:

By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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