AuthorGoodman, James

THE "GREAT WALL" that Donald Trump promised he would build, and Mexico would pay for, has taken a deadly toll on humans and the environment. Desperate asylum seekers have been forced to take more precarious routes. The remains of more than 600 people were found in Arizona desert terrain during Trump's tenure, with the highest number ever recorded-227-being in 2020, according to Humane Borders, a nonprofit that tracks desert deaths.

And while the wall construction goes back to the 1990s, Trump made it into a political prop and used existing laws in unprecedented ways, leaving what Southern Border Communities Coalition Director Vicki Gaubeca describes as a "monument to racism." One dangerous weapon he used-and which must be taken off the books-is the REAL ID Act of 2005, which gives the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to waive all and any environmental protections.

"Essentially, all of the most important environmental and cultural resources protection laws have been brushed aside to make way for this project," says Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner for the Center for Biological Diversity. Jordahl has documented with photos and videos the slicing of mountains, the bulldozing of hundreds if not thousands of saguaro cactuses, the destruction of habitat for...

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