SANTA TERESA, N.M. — The Latest on construction of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico (all times local):
The state of California is appealing a court ruling that upheld President Donald Trump’s authority to waive environmental reviews for his proposed border wall with Mexico.
The state told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that it would seek to overturn a February ruling by Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in San Diego. Reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act and dozens of other laws can significantly delay or even block wall construction.
Xavier Becerra, California’s Democratic attorney general and frequent Trump critic, says the state will argue that the waivers are an overreach of executive authority under the Constitution and that the president’s waiver authority under a 2005 law has expired.
The Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental advocacy group, also appealed Monday, saying the judge wrong to decide the waiver authority was still in effect.
A new wall being constructed along a 20-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern New Mexico is being advertised as a “serious structure” that is part of President Donald Trump’s effort to secure the border.
The bollard-style wall that will be installed over the next year west of the Santa Teresa port of entry will be at least 18 feet tall with a 5-foot plate at the top to prevent people from climbing over it.
It will be filled with concrete and rebar and extend several feet into the ground. There will be another couple feet of concrete below that to prevent people from digging under it.
El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Hull says by replacing existing vehicle barriers with the new wall, agents will be able to better address the rising number of illegal crossings with the help of a physical deterrent and technology.
Work is beginning along a 20-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in southern New Mexico to replace existing vehicle barriers with a new bollard wall.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials gathered Monday to mark the groundbreaking of the $73 million project at Santa Teresa near New Mexico’s state line with Texas.
Officers in the area are responsible for a sprawling desert territory that spans a portion of West Texas and all of New Mexico. They say the area remains an active route for illegal crossings and drug trafficking and that the existing barriers aren’t meeting their needs.
During the last fiscal year, officials say more than 25,000 immigrants suspected of trying to enter the country illegally and seized more than 34,000 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine.