CBP may fast-track a three-mile chunk of wall straight through a Texas wildlife refuge

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Donald Trump’s border wall that Mexico will never pay for won’t do shit to stop the illegal border crossings that are actually already at a record low thanks in large part to the work of his predecessor, but according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official, Customs and Border Protection “has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge,” a plan that stands to cut straight through a wildcat refuge and “some of the last surviving stands of sabal palm trees in South Texas”:

A wall cutting through the refuge could do serious environmental damage, Chapman said, undermining the reason Congress appropriated money to buy the land in the first place. But under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive any environmental regulations that would normally impede construction in a sensitive wildlife area.

[…]

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Carlos Diaz said it “would be premature to speak about specific locations.” The only South Texas projects authorized under the current budget are the installation of 35 gates at gaps the agency left in the existing border fence, he said.

And who is paying for this nearly three mile section of useless wall along a 2,000 mile border, exactly? You may have noticed Trump no longer mentions anything about Mexico when it comes to payment, and the $1.6 billion that the House passed faces an “uncertain” future in getting through the Senate, according to the Mother Jones. “However, CBP recently told a senior Fish and Wildlife Service official in Texas that the agency would shift funds to pay for the new segment out of its current budget.” I guess “Who’s gonna pay for the wall?” “U.S. taxpayers through the Customs and Border Protection agency will!” just doesn’t have the same ring at a rally.