Residents along the border with Mexico knew it was coming back. They could see it with their own eyes, and it was obvious that someone was ready to secure that border. As reported by The Intercept, Myles Traphagen was one of the first civilians to see the construction resuming.
Venturing to Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest, near the town of Sasabe in southern Arizona, he caught a glimpse for himself. Serving as the borderlands coordinator for the Wildlands Network, Traphagen was familiar with the area, after numerous visits and reports in the area previously. He had seen the staging areas started under Trump, stopped shortly after Biden’s inauguration, and now they were active again.
With this new activity, a new staging area has been built, with water retention tanks being built as well. Affixed to the existing border fence were signs informing people of the Arizona trespassing laws. A security guard informed him that construction had resumed, and a Border Patrol agent ordered him to vacate the area. While not uncommon when something is going on, most of the time the agents leave civilians alone as long as they don’t interfere.
Nearly a week after his visit, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that work on the border wall had resumed. On September 14th CBP gave a presentation about any environmental impact the plan under Trump may have had, and confirmed that it would not be removed, thus leaving it as a monument of sorts.
With operations resuming, the goal is to fill the gaps in the wall due to other pauses in work, as well as repair gates and roads that have been damaged along the way. The damage discussed during Trump’s time in office comes from the use of explosives to push through large sections of land in record time.
According to senior CBP officials, contractors will return to the Sonoran Desert in AZ next month to return to work on the wall. During the pause in new construction, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has approved several remediation projects concerning the wall. When the CBP presented the first portion of the project it was in this area in the Tucson sector, which has become their largest area of operation and the site of the most controversial border wall construction.
When the wall first began in 2020, the Border Patrol, Department of Defense, CBP, and DHS officials welcomed the press to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. It was there where the first chunks of land were blown out to make way for the wall. This followed months of protests concerning their tapping into a desert aquafer that is responsible for the Quitobaquito Springs. The Hia-Ced O’odham people have held these as sacred springs for thousands of years.
After praying and protesting at the site, Two Hia-Ced O’odham women were later arrested, strip-searched, and held. Earlier this year, one of the women, Amber Ortega, was found not guilty of the charges. A federal judge ruled that the prosecution had violated her rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Real ID Act from 9/11 allowed for the construction of the wall through what they considered to be blessed ground and the use of their sacred water to mix the concrete for the wall. This act allowed DHS to bypass any law to build barriers in the name of national security. This includes wildlife preserves, native lands, and areas of cultural significance.
For now, the CBP will also be finishing drainages and water crossings, as well as reengineering the wall to allow for better water passage. This will include filling in gaps in the wall and ensuring construction is done to last.
It’s fitting that Biden is finally realizing that he campaigned on the wrong message, and is now stuck finishing a project he and other leftists fought so hard against.