Work on a privately funded border-fencing project underway along the Río Grande.
The fight over the U.S.-Mexico border barrier pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump featured multiple flashpoints as 2019 wound down—lawsuits, anti-wall protests and the controversial resumption of privately funded border-wall construction, to name a few. Still, the U.S. Congress signed off on nearly US$1.4 billion in new border-barrier projects as part of a fiscal 2020 spending plan approved before its holiday recess. For environmental advocates, the additional funding, though more than $7 billion below the level Trump sought, has come as a bitter disappointment. Accompanying budget language did place restrictions intended to prevent border-wall projects from harming key wildlife areas in south Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, but these protections were “minimal,” says Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of the U.S.-based environmental group Defenders of Wildlife. Clark forecasts “devastating consequences to hundreds of species and communities along the border.” Indeed, as various... [Log in to read more]