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Texas Matters: Concerns Build On Border Wall Environmental Impact

David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio
TPR News

Donald Trump ran for president with chant “build that wall” and the promise that Mexico would pay for it. However, getting Mexico to foot the bill for the controversial barrier doesn’t seem to be happening  and the wall’s construction still needs to win congressional approval.

On Thursday Texas Senator John Cornyn rolled out legislation that appears to back away in part from the Trump promise of a big beautiful wall that would stretch across the entire U.S. Mexico Border.

The Republican Senator Majority Whip is pushing his compromise solution called “Building America’s Trust Act.” This is a 15 billion dollar proposal that would include some wall with fences, levees, technology, more border security personnel and other barriers. The bill would also target so-called sanctuary cities and pressure them to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

Meanwhile the Border Wall could be coming sooner than expected to Texas. Advance work is already underway at the Santa Ana National Refuge in the Rio Grande Valley.

The concern that a border wall would be build across the Rio Grande Valley’s Levee has many people there concerned. But also environmentalists and biologists around the world are warning that the border wall would be harmful to endangered species who live along the Rio Grande. Scott Egan is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Rice University. He says the border wall would put more than one hundred endangered species at risk.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi