Border Wall Live Updates
This page contains the latest news on border wall construction and activity. Scroll down for ways to get involved, and check back often for updates. Thank you.
- Click here to report any construction activity (or lack of activity) you observe.
- Click here to view construction reports from observers and media representatives.
- Click here to learn how to measure the darkness of our night skies along the border.
- Click here to join the Border BioBlitz, running the entire month of April 2021.
If you witness ongoing border wall construction in the Sky Islands, you can report instances to:
South Pacific Border District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
George F. Jozens
Deputy Public Affairs Officer
South Pacific Border District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The 60-day review period of border wall contracts ended on March 21, but the Biden administration has yet to announce what will happen to the border wall, those contracts, and overall border funding moving forward. We do not know who has been responsible for this review period or what the next steps will be.
As of January 28, President Biden’s proclamation should be in full effect and wall construction should have been put on pause for 60 days while border wall funding is reviewed. However, we continue to receive troubling reports from the field about ongoing construction in remote areas in the Sky Islands.
During this 60-day period, we are working to advocate for cancellation of border wall contracts, monitor activity at the border to ensure construction stops, and begin emergency restoration planning.
On January 20, 2021, border wall was being rapidly constructed at more than seven locations within the Sky Island region and at even more locations in western Arizona. Following President Biden’s January 20 proclamation to pause border wall construction, the situation at the border evolved rapidly. On the heels of Biden’s proclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers—the agency that implements contracts for wall construction in Arizona—issued a directive for contractors to stop installing additional barriers and only prepare sites for safe suspension of work.
ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS DIRECTIVE:
With regards to the proclamation signed January 20, by President Biden, our statement is below. “Upon receipt of President Biden’s Proclamation with respect to the Southern Border of the United States, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has directed our contractors involved in border barrier construction for the Department of Defense program not to install any additional physical barriers. Only construction activity that is necessary to safely prepare each site for a suspension of work will occur over the next few days. As we pause this program, we will work closely with the Department of Defense and Department of the Army to ensure public safety and a responsible use of taxpayer dollars. (Please note that the above statement addresses the DoD-funded construction. For the CBP/DHS-funded construction in terms of a timeline for stopping work there, recommend reaching out to CBP.) USACE will take the appropriate actions in accordance with the proclamation and will coordinate our actions with the Department of Defense and our partners at the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We will provide updates as we know more about the specific impacts of halting border barrier construction. Please note that the proclamation states a “pause work on each construction project on the southern border wall, to the extent permitted by law, as soon as possible but in no case later than seven days from the date of this proclamation…”
Raini W. Brunson Public Affairs Specialist (EA PRT Coordinator/Emergency Ops/Mil Programs) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters 441 G ST NW (3C02) Washington, DC 20314-1000 W: 202-761-1808 C: 202-904-0781 Fax: 202-761-1803
Live Border Wall Updates:
April 5, 2021:
Border wall construction is still paused along the U.S.-Mexico border. While little is publicly known about the continuing review process, sources indicate that the Department of Interior and US Department of Agriculture will be involved in mitigation planning for the border which is a very positive sign.
Furthermore, there are indications that before new border policy is set there will be opportunities for public engagement. To help us actively monitor and champion the countless natural resources at the border, please assist with our Dark Sky measurement campaign and document biological diversity along the border in April 2021.
March 30, 2021:
From a 3/30 press release by the #NoBorderWall group:
Biden’s 60-day review period of border wall contracts – which was established by a proclamation on January 20, 2021 – ended on March 21st. However, the Administration has yet to announce permanent action that will cancel the contracts and stop wall construction.
In the meantime, far right extremists and border wall proponents are proactively fomenting fear, claiming that not having a wall has created a new “crisis” on the border, which contradicts actual data.
In response, members of Congress, #NotAnotherFoot supporters, and No Border Wall Coalition members are collectively working to keep the Biden Administration laser-focused on the needs of border communities; withdrawing all land confiscation cases; restoring legal protections of U.S. citizens waived through the REAL ID Act; healing and remediating sensitive ecosystems destroyed by border wall construction; and broadening the array of stakeholders with a seat at the table in the decision-making process beyond law enforcement to include landowners, environmental groups, civil liberties groups, and Native leaders.
March 26, 2021:
Tucson.com: Border wall work still paused, Army Corps says (external link) March 26, 2021
March 4, 2021:
Kate Scott from the Madrean Archipelago Wildlife Center gives us a closer look at the destruction in the Pajarito Mountains.
Pajarito Mountains southeastern AZ desecrated. What were majestic mountains reduced to mine tailings, heaps of rubble. I listened to the mountains lament. pic.twitter.com/WTI1c4WqPc
— Kate Scott (@madreanwildlife) March 5, 2021
March 2, 2021:
Though we are now 39 days into the 60-day border wall contract review period, it is not clear who is in charge of the contract review process at the federal level. The reviewers face a daunting task given that these contracts had neither been released to the public nor handed over to the Biden administration during the pre-inauguration transition.
We are working to learn more as soon as possible so we can offer you clear calls to action.
You can read a full explanation of the situation with contracts, funding, and the challenges currently faced in this blog post by Washington Office on Latin America’s Director for Defense Oversight, Adam Isaacson.
Other important next steps include:
1. Ensuring the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture—the agencies managing federal protected areas like the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge, Coronado National Memorial, and Coronado National Forest—have a seat at the table to design and promote approaches for healing the damage done at the border.
2. Ensuring that the local communities who have borne the brunt of destruction and negative impacts of wall construction are consulted with and have a seat at the table to design a road toward healing.
We will continue to update and share advocacy actions with you as we learn new information.
February 24, 2021:
Sky Island Alliance joined 70 other groups and organizations in sending this document to the White House. The document calls for the current federal administration to cancel border wall contracts, mitigate construction damage, remove sections of built wall, and restore equal protection under the law along the U.S-Mexico border. We hope this document will be a reference tool we can use as we and many others work with the Biden administration to tear down the worst of this border wall.
February 17, 2021:
After reaching out to Coronado National Forest Supervisor Kerwin Dewberry, concerned members of the public are now reporting that it appears that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency is citing bad weather to explain to Forest Service personnel why Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., a border wall construction group, is continuing work that should have ended weeks ago with Biden’s proclamation.
Kate Scott provides a closer look at the damage done to the Pajarito Mountains within the last three weeks.
The video shows 200 feet of landscape and habitat blasted out of the mountainside.
Pajarito Mountain devastation beyond words. Beyond belief. This madness can not continue. @Potus @VP pic.twitter.com/E4fwSNs3xJ
— Kate Scott (@madreanwildlife) February 17, 2021
February 16, 2021:
Bulldozing continues in the Pajarito Mountains.
Wall builders are busy leveling mountains & bulldozing habitat for endangered jaguars in Arizona’s stunning Pajarito Mountains. @POTUS must stop this destruction & terminate all #BorderWall contracts for good. https://t.co/C1e905oKC4
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) February 16, 2021
AZPM: Conservation Group: Border Wall Construction Continues (external link) February 16, 2021
E&E News: Greens Slam Continued Border Wall Construction in Ariz. (external link) February 16, 2021
February 14, 2021:
The Army Corps of Engineers have responded to multiple public inquiries about new border roads being put in despite Biden’s 60-day pause on wall construction. They state that they consider the border patrol road to not be covered by the restriction on wall construction but necessary for safety of border patrol personnel and the public.
February 12, 2021:
New video seems to show ongoing construction on the Coronado National Forest near the Pajarita wilderness.
BREAKING: Horrifying new videos appear to show #BorderWall bulldozers tearing through pristine Arizona wildlands in violation of Biden’s order halting construction.
This footage proves that a “pause” to wall building isn’t enough. @POTUS must cancel these contracts for good. pic.twitter.com/9zd1Btc7Yi
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) February 12, 2021
Across the borderlands the damage is to mountains, waterways and wildlife corridors is devastating.
“We’ve got a surreal quarter mile section of wall standing as an island in the middle of these rugged mountains [&} half-dynamited hillsides that will just start eroding away as soon as it rains.”
Trump’s wall has decimated the borderlands. https://t.co/U2Tph3Dt76
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) February 12, 2021
February 11, 2021:
Reports continue to emerge of ongoing construction activity at the border.
Deeply concerning reports today of #BorderWall construction continuing in violation of Biden’s stop work order. These corrupt, greedy contractors are inflicting permanent damage on Arizona’s pristine wilderness just to make an extra million.@POTUS cancel these contracts NOW. pic.twitter.com/SyPjU1xAEf
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) February 11, 2021
More good policy news, now we must work to cancel contracts and repurpose funding to reverse this damage through restoration and reparations to affected Native Nations.
“The declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted. No more American taxpayer dollars [will] be diverted to construct a border wall,” – @POTUShttps://t.co/Kya2uWCy8f
— @NotAnotherFoot (@notanotherfoot) February 11, 2021
February 10, 2021:
WOLA: From ‘Pause’ to ‘Reverse’: What Lies Ahead for Stopping Trump’s Border Wall and Fixing the Damage (external link) February 10, 2021
February 4, 2021:
BORDER CONSTRUCTION HAS SLOWED… FOR NOW
Since last November, we’ve watched border wall construction ramp up across much of the Sky Island region, including along six miles of our Border Wildlife Study: at Coronado National Memorial and on the eastern side of the Patagonia Mountains. Even after President Biden issued a proclamation on January 20, requesting the halt of border wall construction within seven days, we witnessed more road grading, bulldozing, and groundwater pumping as contractors prepared to install additional steel bollards. After following this situation carefully for weeks, we are relieved to share that as of Thursday, January 28, border infrastructure construction has slowed. Both Coronado National Memorial and the Patagonia Mountains have less crew and equipment at the start of the 60-day period of review for these border wall projects. While we expected to see a complete stop to all border construction activity, as of February 2 our field team has witnessed continued activities in the Huachuca and Patagonia Mountains including road grading and significant construction noise. Our work is not over—we need to determine if the temporary construction halt is being complied with on the ground and advocate strongly that a stop to construction becomes permanent so that we can shift our efforts from stopping this reckless and unnecessary destruction to repairing and healing our wonderful Sky Island habitats.
Please continue to report any observations of—or lack of—activity at border wall sites using this survey. You can also follow the link below to see our log of updates, which is where we will add details as we learn more about the administration’s plans for the border wall.
Thank you for all your help in keeping our borderlands wild and free.
February 2, 2021:
Construction crews have reportedly packed up and left Coronado National Memorial.
Today I walked to the southern terminus of the 800-mile Arizona Trail to find a half-finished monument to white supremacy sullying this once-spectacular view.
Construction crews packed up & left this week following the @POTUS order, but this obscene scar across the land remains. pic.twitter.com/DYhuha9X8t
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) February 2, 2021
January 31, 2021:
Still no sign of construction work being done, but the damage of previous construction remains.
Photos below were taken near Coronado National Memorial by multiple sources.
January 29, 2021:
Security guards still detected at Coronado National Memorial.
No work happening at Coronado National Memorial or in the Patagonia Mountains. While the Patagonia Mountains have been cleared of heavy equipment, some still remains at Coronado National Memorial.
Concrete is still drying on the #BorderWall in eastern AZ, likely built in the last week in defiance of the order halting construction. More bollards are staged deep into mountainous jaguar habitat, ready to go up at a moments notice. @POTUS must cancel these contracts for good. pic.twitter.com/LnsfFXlyTM
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) January 30, 2021
Video of #BorderWall pause in the Patagonia Mts east of Nogales, AZ. Note no heavy equipment on site. There is a map, but you can also copy these coordinates into Google and it will take you right there.
31.33361, -110.75220 pic.twitter.com/FFAKufcz8B
— Myles Traphagen (@WNborderlands) January 30, 2021
January 28, 2021:
Today marks the first day past President Biden’s seven day “slow down” period for wall building. According to the presidential proclamation, all wall construction must officially halt today and remain halted for a period of two months. We will continue to monitor construction sites to ensure that wall contractors follow this enforcement.
At Coronado National Memorial and in the Patagonia Mountains, work has halted with only security guards or skeleton clean-up crews remaining onsite.
January 24-27, 2021:
Construction at Coronado National Memorial and within the Patagonia Mountains has paused due to weather.
Security guards are reported at CNM, with several CAT construction vehicles and other equipment still staged in the area.
January 23, 2021:
Work continues at Coronado National Memorial with bulldozers building new road and pushing sediment down hill slopes.
I’m watching construction trucks dumps loads of sediment off a cliff at Coronado National Monument where wall construction is ordered to stop #notanotherfoot pic.twitter.com/qyQDepYmWG
— Emily Burns (@doctorfern) January 23, 2021
The sound of pile drivers during illegal wall construction is ringing through the canyons at Coronado National Forest @skyislandalliance #notanotherfoot pic.twitter.com/wQrW88lF54
— Emily Burns (@doctorfern) January 23, 2021
Work continues on the Coronado National Forest with bulldozers active in the Pajarito Mountains.
Border wall destruction continued yesterday hidden deep in the rugged Pajarito Mountains of southern Arizona despite the Army Corps of Engineer’s order that “Only construction activity that is necessary to safely prepare each site for a suspension of work will occur…” pic.twitter.com/irVO7LUmN6
— Russ McSpadden (@PeccaryNotPig) January 24, 2021
Work continues on the Coronado National Forest with bollards being staged for installation in the Patagonia Mountains.
Construction crews are still staging #BorderWall bollards in the Coronado National Forest today.@POTUS ordered a halt to construction, but hundreds of workers across AZ are still hard at work destroying every inch of the borderlands they can lay their hands on. 📷: @iamKurc pic.twitter.com/8qTQH1JNzd
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) January 24, 2021
January 22, 2021:
Laiken Jordahl from the Center for Biological Diversity observed ongoing work at Coronado National Memorial where a small section of isolated wall is being erected at the exact spot the Arizona Trail reaches the U.S.-Mexico border.
BREAKING: #BorderWall construction crews at Coronado Memorial are plowing full steam ahead. Instead of demobilizing per yesterday’s @POTUS proclamation, they’re continuing to excavate & bulldoze mountaintops thru critical jaguar habitat. @DHSgov, call off this destruction NOW. pic.twitter.com/S9FDKdAYMj
— Laiken Jordahl (@LaikenJordahl) January 22, 2021
January 21, 2021:
As of 4:30 today, the Army Corps directed Southwest Valley Constructors to halt all blasting in Guadalupe Canyon in the Peloncillo Mountains.
For more on the current border situation, watch this morning’s Sky Island Situation Room discussion:
KOLD News Story: Construction worker for border project says no word on immediate pause following President Biden’s order: “We’re going to keep working.”
January 20, 2021:
President Biden took the first step toward fulfilling his campaign promise that “not another foot” of border wall would be constructed under his administration. He issued a proclamation for border wall construction that calls for the immediate termination of Trump’s national emergency declaration and gives wall contractors seven days to halt construction. Read more here.
Click here to see the proclamation.
Before January 20, 2021:
Border wall construction is accelerating across the Sky Islands as contractors work to get as much wall construction as possible completed before President-Elect Joe Biden takes office.