A report from a government oversight agency revealed that the border wall implemented by Trump resulted in considerable negative impact on cultural and environmental aspects.

A report from a government oversight agency revealed that the border wall implemented by Trump resulted in considerable negative impact on cultural and environmental aspects.

a report by the Government Accountability Office.

The Government Accountability Office’s report found that the border wall advocated by President Donald Trump had negative impacts on the environment and disregarded the cultural sites of Native American communities. by the US

A study published on Thursday by the United States.

According to the Government Accountability Office.

During Trump’s presidency, approximately 450 miles of barrier were built. This was one of his most well-known actions, and it involved ignoring laws related to protecting the environment and historical sites. However, it has since been discovered that the wall negatively affected endangered species, disrupted water sources, and caused other forms of environmental harm, according to a report from a government oversight agency.

“This racist political stunt has been an ineffective waste of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars — and now we know it has caused immeasurable, irreparable harm to our environment and cultural heritage as well,” Rep. Raúl Grijalva

The report was requested by (D-Ariz.) and they stated in a statement.

The Trump campaign was unable to be contacted for a response on Thursday.

According to the report, barriers designed for vehicles in remote locations have been replaced with barriers intended for pedestrians. This change has made it more challenging for migration, particularly for vulnerable species such as wolves, ocelots, and the Sonoran pronghorn, a species similar to an antelope.

The larger barriers also had bigger footprints and frequently featured lighting, which could pose additional dangers to the local wildlife.

The Government Accountability Office found that the building of the border wall has caused problems with water flow during heavy rain, making flooding worse. Additionally, contractors have been draining groundwater in the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, leading to the depletion of certain ponds and putting the water levels of others, which are home to endangered fish, at risk.

According to the report, the building process resulted in significant harm and devastation to important cultural sites of Native peoples. The use of explosives to create a patrol road caused damage to Monument Hill in Arizona, which held religious significance for the Tohono O’odham and other tribes. Additionally, contractors destroyed a burial site near a sacred spring in the Sonoran Desert, as revealed by the GAO.

The decision by the Biden administration to halt construction in 2021 immediately had its own adverse consequences, such as unfinished water drainage systems and various structures.

Some websites did not complete their reclamation efforts, which may result in non-native plants growing instead of native ones. Additionally, numerous saguaro cacti, which hold significance to the Tohono O’odham tribe and were relocated to make way for construction, perished due to lack of water and care.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Customs and Border Patrol has made efforts to address site remediation under President Joe Biden’s administration. However, their main focus has been on eliminating safety risks such as removing exposed rebar.

The agency has collaborated with the Interior Department to address environmental mitigation. However, it would be advantageous for them to create a shared plan that outlines the roles and responsibilities for funding and carrying out mitigation efforts. This plan should also detail the associated costs, sources of funding, and timelines for implementation. Additionally, it should specify when they will involve Tribal consultations.

According to Grijalva, the restoration and mitigation efforts related to the environment should be guided by scientific evidence and input from relevant stakeholders, such as tribes and communities residing along the border.

He cautioned against repeating past mistakes by taking shortcuts in repairing the damage caused by hastily building the wall.

According to GAO, CBP should also assess the lessons they have learned from previous evaluations of the barrier’s effects. These evaluations often did not have enough data and information for a thorough analysis.

The watchdog stated that CBP and Interior have accepted to carry out the suggestions. Interior chose not to respond, while CBP has not yet responded to a comment request.

Source: politico.com