Locals worry about wildlife amid border wall construction

Border Report Tour

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. (Border Report) — For acres in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Park there’s nothing, but cacti.

But as you drive closer to the Lukeville Port of Entry, the road signs turn into caution signs — warning visitors of “smuggling and illegal immigration.”

That activity is just one reason the Trump administration is building a new border wall next to a few miles of fencing that’s already in place. Crews are actively working to convert an existing five-foot-high vehicle barrier into a 30-foot steel and mesh fence.

The work is part of a 43-mile span of fencing that also traverses the adjacent Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, according to the Washington Post.

Department of Homeland Security stats show the area around Organ Pipe Cactus area has been one of the busiest for illegal crossings. During our short time in the area, we found a black water jug in the brush. A Border Patrol agent told us the darker jugs are used by migrants because they’re sturdy and won’t melt in the sun.

A black water jug right off a dirt path near the Lukeville port of entry. (Anna Wiernicki/Border Report)

The new construction doesn’t seem to bother the few locals who live in the area. Hector Molina says he frequently crosses the Lukeville Port of Entry because it’s easy — there’s not a lot of people who live nearby.

“Most of the people’s concern about the wall is nature,” says Molina.

He says the new fencing and construction crews don’t concern him, but it does bother the wildlife.

“If you put a wall, animals won’t be able to go across.”

There are deeper fears about the environmental impact on the area and wildlife. BorderReport.com’s Sandra Sanchez will cover those stories on the next couple days as we continue to move through Arizona into New Mexico.

Visit the BorderReport.com homepage for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.

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