Adios! new mexico sets example for border states, begins building border wall weather internal

Immigration is a hot-button issue that has dominated media outlets for several months. While it has always been a controversial issue that is universally discussed, especially in the United States, in recent months the conversations have increased due to problems at the southern border between Mexico and the United States. While there are many people who have come out against President Trump and his administration for their Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services policies, new developments out West have changed the immigration game.

“New Mexico is progressing on its 20-mile border wall construction west of Santa Teresa, replacing old posts and rail barriers as part of President Donald Trump’s initiative to halt illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said more than 8,100 panels stretching over 11 miles were built as of Aug. 8, according to the Associated Press Friday. “It’s going to be harder to get over, harder to get through, harder to get underneath,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull of the El Paso sector told the Albuquerque Journal on April 9. “It’s going to have a five-foot, anti-scaling plate at the top.”

The barrier will be as tall as 18 feet in some areas, depending on the location. The “wall of steel” was approved in 2017 and construction of the $73.3 million project began April 9, the Journal reported. Environmentalists sued over the construction because they said the wall would block migration patterns of wildlife, the AP reported March 22. Mexican gray wolves, Aplomado falcons and kit foxes are among the wildlife creatures that inhabit the area.

“Waiving these safeguards to rush construction of President Trump’s ill-conceived border wall will no doubt adversely impact the communities and wildlife along the border,” senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife Jason Rylander said in a statement, according to the AP. (RELATED: SURVEY: Arizonans Oppose Removing Border Security). El Paso Border Patrol caught more than 25,000 people crossing the border and captured over 34,000 pounds of marijuana along with 140 pounds of cocaine in fiscal year 2017, according to the Journal. The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Defenders of Wildlife for comment, but did not receive an immediate response in time for publication.”

Throughout the 2016 presidential election then-candidate, Donald Trump repeatedly made building the border wall a key part of his campaign messaging. He has continued to maintain that messaging while in office. While the estimated cost is $8 to $12 billion, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has insisted that Mexico will not be paying for it despite promises by President Trump that they would. Regardless, in the first month of the president’s administration, he signed an executive order that would allow for the start of construction on extending the border wall.

The National Border Patrol Council did a study, after the border wall negotiations began, where they found that 89% of all border patrol agents were supportive of an expanded border wall for security purposes while merely 7% were opposed. As a result of negotiations and hard work, earlier this year the House of Representatives and Senate appropriated approximately $1.6 billion for the border wall, out of the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill. Shortly thereafter, the administration announced the beginning of the construction which included eight prototype barriers which were made out of concrete. Just two months ago in June, construction workers began working on the San Diego section of the wall.

Those on the left who are opposed to the border wall have protested immensely. Their greatest condemnations include concerns over divided land, Hidalgo County, Mexico’s opposition, migrant deaths, and most of all, the environmental impact. While these have always been concerns they have increased since the president has made the border wall a key policy of his administration. Environmental concerns mainly center around the use of waivers by the Department of Homeland Security to allegedly bypass various laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to name a few.

However, regardless of concerns construction on the wall has begun with the support of the President, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. New Mexico is just one of many others that have already started complying with federal law to ensure this outcome. It is expected that those in New Mexico and those representing other southern border states will begin to either comment on the process or make their stance known.