Construction of a new section of the border wall in New Mexico was scheduled to begin on Monday, as Homeland Security is set to break ground on a bollard wall to replace 20 miles of vehicle barriers, KOB4 has reported.
The new section, in the desert west of El Paso, will continue where the existing wall ends and will replace current barriers that do not meet the Border Patrol’s operational needs.
The fence will be between 18 and 30 feet high, and the see-through design allows agents to spot migrants or smugglers on the Mexican side attempting to jump the border, according to The Washington Times.
The project has been in the works for some time, and the contract was awarded in January, meaning it was finalized before the recent political disagreement over border wall funds in the new spending bill.
Some residents near the border did not agree with the need for the improvements, with one saying it is a waste of money because very few people manage to come across the border due to the existing structure and work of the border patrol, according to KOAT Action News.
Another critic said that, in any case, there are many other ways that people can come into the country illegally.
Another point of controversy was the decision by Homeland Security to waive more than 20 environmental laws to allow for the building of the wall, according to Cronkite News.
That decision has been challenged in court, since it does not take into consideration the proposed wall’s impact on air, clean water, public lands and endangered wildlife.
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