El Paso News

Demonstrators protest border wall in Santa Teresa

SANTA TERESA, New Mexico - Demonstrators from across the Southwest voiced their concerns trying to put a stop to the new border wall construction in Santa Teresa. 

"The first of his promised wall went up in our backyard here in Santa Teresa," said Johana Bencomo with New Mexico CAFE.

Work on this 20-mile stretch of the border wall started in April. 

Saturday people from across the Southwest were protesting the project.

"We are demanding that congress put a stop to border militarization," said Bencomo.

Organizers of the event called "All Against the Wall" said the project is a waste of taxpayer money.

"It does not deter immigrants from coming. In fact, it pushes immigrants to a much harsher terrain in the desert," said Bencomo.

Not only do organizers said this wall is wrong because it causes human suffering. They said this wall prevents wildlife from getting back and forth.

"The wall here cuts through the Chihuahuas desert. A beautiful area. Home to a lot of wildlife. We have data showing the Mexican Grey Wolf crossing the border right here. If this wall is built. Wolves won't be able to migrate back and forth which is essential to their survival," said Laiken Jordahl with the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Center for Biological Diversity has already sued over the project, saying the federal government over stepped its authority in waiving laws to speed up construction. 

"Through wall construction like this, the administration has waived 25 different laws to build this wall. Like the clean water act, the clean air act. Really important laws that protect our community and our wildlife," said Jordahl.

The environmentalists said the wall could hurt wildlife to the point of extinction in some cases.

"I think we really lose something special when we lose any species of animal," said Jordahl.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have said the area is an active route for illegal crossings and drug trafficking.


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