Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be in New Mexico today to speak with Southwest border sheriffs about immigration enforcement. This as crews break ground on a new 20 mile section of wall along the U.S. Mexico border, west of El Paso.
Outside El Paso, Texas, stacks of steel posts are being prepped for what will eventually be a 30 foot wall spanning a twenty mile stretch of the U.S. southern border. U.S. Border Patrol Sector Chief, Aaron Hull, says it will help block one of the country's busiest smuggling routes. Last year, El Paso Border Patrol agents caught more than 25,000 people crossing the border illegally and seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine.
The new wall will have a 5 foot plate at the top to prevent trespassers from climbing over and the posts will be driven into concrete to keep intruders from digging underneath. Congress hasn't approved the estimated $73,000,000 dollars for president trump's proposed border wall. But last year, the President signed an executive order to use existing money to jump start projects like the one outside El Paso.
More than 400 National Guard members have arrived since last week to patrol the border. Republican mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, worries stronger enforcement at the border will damage the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.
Critics are also concerned about the wall's environmental impact. But the Border Patrol says it works carefully not to disturb the surrounding natural habitat. This section of the wall is scheduled to be finished next spring. Immigrant rights activists promise to protest Attorney General Sessions vision to New Mexico this afternoon.