The environmental impact of building a border wall at the borders

Former president Trump’s ideal regarding the border wall

Irregular immigration has always been an extremely controversial issue around the world, especially in first world countries and world powers that have a fairly high immigration rate and are the destination of millions of foreigners annually.

On the one hand, there are governments that propose to improve conditions for migrant populations and expand alternatives so that people in need of international protection can access humanitarian programs such as refugee or political asylum. On the other hand, there are governments that adopt stricter immigration policies in order to reduce irregular immigration.

To give a specific example, the previous administration of the US, led by former President Donald Trump, wanted to restrict immigration at all costs and “teach a lesson” to foreigners who decided to cross the country’s borders without legal documentation. In fact, curbing irregular immigration was such a high priority for the previous administration that former President Trump ordered the construction of a border wall that separates Mexico from the US.

It is important to clarify that former President Trump is not the first leader of the US to use the border wall as a tool to reduce massive irregular migration from Central American territory. In fact, the Trump administration rebuilt a portion of the border wall previously built by other administrations.

In the opinion of former President Trump, the border wall sends a clear and direct message to migrants who try to cross the US’ borders without prior authorization and was one of the main strategies of his administration to enforce immigration law at the borders.

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The Biden administration suspended the border wall construction

President Joe Biden’s administration, who took office on January 20, 2021, disagrees with building a border wall as an immigration policy. Therefore, one of the current president’s first executive actions was to suspend the construction of the border wall for 60 days (until March 20).

The Biden administration team had to evaluate the border wall situation and create action plans to terminate or reuse contracts already funded by the Trump administration with construction companies. However, the Biden administration has not announced the next step to take regarding Trump’s border wall.

The environmental impact of building a border wall at the borders

The fact that the Biden administration has paused the border wall construction opens a door of hope for activist and environmental groups, who state that wildlife and the border ecosystem were at grave risk amid the invasive construction of the border wall.

In fact, during the first weeks in office, President Biden received a statement from a coalition of nearly 70 groups in Southern Arizona, who asked him to remove a certain part of the Arizona border wall that is affecting the local ecosystem and putting several species at risk, which are already endangered species.

Other than that, also in Arizona, Trump’s border wall is threatening 22 archaeological sites, delaying local investigations, which might bury a large part of our society’s history since its inception.

Adding to that, several native tribes have also filed legal complaints because the border wall invades their ancestral and sacred territory, affecting their culture.

Thus, it is possible that President Biden’s proposals and approach regarding immigration enforcement at the borders will improve the situation for local species and protect the local ecosystem in times of global crisis.

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