As the clock ticks down the remaining weeks on President Joe Biden’s 60-day pause on border wall construction, nobody seems to know what comes next.
While Republican lawmakers call for border wall construction to resume, environmentalists worry it might. “Contractors are chomping at the bit to get back to work and keep building wall,” says Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity.
Jordahl, who spent the Trump presidency documenting environmental damage along the border, filmed wall-construction crews moving earth along the Arizona border as recently as Feb. 16 — nearly a month after Biden’s work-stop order. Other crews were delivering steel bollards to construction sites in the Peloncillo Mountains, in apparent anticipation of restarting work on the wall as soon as the temporary pause expires on March 20.
"It’s places like this that we desperately need to see wall construction stopped for good. Not just paused. Not just halted,” Jordahl told Real America with Jorge Ramos, from a new stretch of border wall through the Pajarito Mountains in Arizona. “What we want to see is construction crews sent packing. Because if these walls are completed, and these mountains are entirely walled off, it will be a death sentence for jaguars in the United States and disastrous for wildlife all across the borderlands.”
On his first day in office, President Biden signed a proclamation terminating the national emergency that Trump used to funnel money from the Pentagon to build the wall. Biden’s proclamation bought his administration two months of time to study “the administrative and contractual consequences of ceasing each wall construction project,” and reallocate government funds elsewhere.
The White House did not respond to Univision’s request for comment on whether any decision has been made ahead of the March 20 deadline.
Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers are using that time to do a conga line to the border to tweet selfie videos about gaps in the wall.
“If you don’t just fill in this gap, everything else you’ve done makes no sense,” fret Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in a Feb. 19 visit to the wall. “It makes no sense to build a wall with a hole in it.”
But environmentalists say it makes even less sense to spend billions of dollars on a structure that only destroys nature and endangers wildlife.
“Most of our border is actually a river, so what people need to understand about the so-called border wall is that we’re walling off water, we’re walling off wildlife. We’re not making anybody any safer,” says Dan Millis, borderlands program manager for the Sierra Club. “We’ve already wasted $15 billion on this stupid wall that does nothing but try to get President Trump reelected. And it even failed at that.”
See the full report on Real America with Jorge Ramos, here: