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.

The Situation:

2/16/21 Update:

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.

1/20/21 Update:

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…”

V/r, Raini
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

Get Involved:

  • 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 ask your senators to halt all construction and bring contracts under review.
  • Click here for other ways to get involved (scroll to the bottom of the blog).

If you witness ongoing border wall construction in the Sky Islands, you can report instances to:

Jay Field
Public Affairs
South Pacific Border District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
SouthPacificBorderDistrict.PAO@usace.army.mil
Work: 602-671-5467

George F. Jozens
Deputy Public Affairs Officer
South Pacific Border District
SouthPacificBorderDistrict.PAO@usace.army.mil
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Work: 602-671-5468

Live Border Wall Updates:

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.

February 16, 2021:

Bulldozing continues in the Pajarito Mountains.

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.

Across the borderlands the damage is to mountains, waterways and wildlife corridors is devastating.

February 11, 2021:

Reports continue to emerge of ongoing construction activity at the border.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Work continues on the Coronado National Forest with bulldozers active in the Pajarito Mountains.

Work continues on the Coronado National Forest with bollards being staged for installation in the Patagonia Mountains.

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.

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.