Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Trump Administration Making Roadway For Illegal Aliens In Desert

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, December 11, 2020

Dynamite raises clouds of dust above Guadalupe Canyon, near the New Mexico-Arizona border. The Diamond A Ranch, which is located next to the construction site, has sued the government, claiming the blasting has sent “car-sized boulders tumbling down onto ranch property.”
Image by John Kurc

The Trump administration is making it easier for illegal aliens to come into the United States.

The route along the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona and New Mexico has some of the most ruggedly inhospitable, and treacherous terrain in the nation. It is only barely accessible by foot, or mule, and is range for numerous wild animals, such as the jaguar, and ocelot – large cats – and a longtime wildlife migration corridor.

Construction crews using tons of explosives in a technique called “pioneering,” are leveling mountains and cliffs to make roadways for heavy equipment to access the area.

The private landowners complaint and lawsuit states that crews must first “make a level road, with the necessary grade and ability to support the weight of construction vehicles, and ultimately the wall itself.”

In a combined Federal lawsuit filed by private landowners near the Arizona-New Mexico border known as the malpais, or badlands, the owners of the Diamond A Ranch and Guadalupe Ranch last week sued the federal government to halt construction on their land. In their complaint, they state that not only have they been denied due process, and that reasonable efforts to communicate with the contractors, and the government been ignored, refused, or failed, but that the area where blasting is occurring along their property is recklessly causing boulders, debris, and other detritus to fall upon it.

Heavy equipment is clearing a path for the border wall next to Coronado National Forest in Southern Arizona. Mexico is on the left.
Image by John Kurc

Moreover, however, they state that the area is so rugged that, “In many portions of the proposed border wall, grades before construction began were so steep that the land was accessible only by foot and mule.”

The complaint also states that “Clouds of demolition dust, shrapnel, and car-sized boulders have come tumbling down the Roosevelt Reservation onto ranch property.”

The private landowners state further that no Federal, State, or Local government blasting permits have been obtained, and complain that “the blasting intrusions on the Ranch’s property were and are not authorized by any statutory or other authority.”

And though the area is primarily arid desert, it does receive rainfall, and when it does, it frequently floods. In their suit, they cite the absence of any hydrological studies to ameliorate the risk associated with the construction of the wall.

Contractors are building access roads and retaining walls in this protected wilderness in Arizona’s Coronado National Memorial to erect President Trump’s border barrier.
Image by John Kurc

“A portion of the proposed wall crosses Guadalupe Creek, which flows south through Guadalupe Canyon into Mexico. The Ranch owns the property through which Guadalupe Creek runs, all the way to the point where it crosses the Roosevelt Reservation on its way into Mexico. Guadalupe Creek is seasonal. Sometimes it is completely dry. But, in rainy seasons, it can, and periodically does, become a raging river capable of carrying boulders, large trees, and other debris.

“Construction of a border wall across the path of Guadalupe Creek is almost certain to lead to flooding. Guadalupe Canyon can channel a large volume of water into a confined space, and add significant debris along the way in the form of trees, rocks, and dirt. Thus, there is a grave risk that this debris will jam and block a comparatively narrow culvert. Severe floods have occurred at this site even with no manmade obstructions in the path of the water. Designing a culvert that does not produce much worse intrusions on Ranch property will require enormous care.

“Seasonal flooding caused by faulty culvert design will intrude on the Ranch’s property. Guadalupe Creek runs alongside the Ranch’s private road, which the Ranch’s owners and residents use to reach hospitals, supplies, and other critical services. Flooding has the potential to wash away the road and cut the Ranch off from the outside world. And given how close the Creek and the Road are to the proposed wall site, even a slight miscalculation could have a dramatic effect on the Ranch.

“The Ranch has consistently expressed concern that the Agencies have not taken
sufficient steps to design the wall at this point so as to prevent flooding of Ranch property.

“The Agencies have stated that they intend to address the risk of flooding with concrete box culverts (three 12’x14’ culverts and four 12’x10’ culverts). On information and belief, the Agencies have not completed sufficient hydrologic studies necessary to determine what culvert size and design will be needed to prevent flooding of Ranch property. Nor have the Agencies shared adequate information on the studies or the designs that are essential to protect the Ranch’s property and indeed the lives of its inhabitants from flooding caused by the Agencies’ construction. The Agencies have not even asked for, let alone taken account of, the rainfall records maintained by the Ranch for Guadalupe Canyon. Rainfall in the canyon watershed is often different from rainfall in other parts of the region; this data has been offered to the Agencies but the Agencies have not requested it.

“The probable impacts on the Ranch’s land are not authorized by any statutory or
other authority.”

In the suit the plaintiffs state that they are not opposed to the idea of a wall, but that they have numerous complaints about how they have been mistreated in entire the process, including being denied their Constitutionally guaranteed rights of Due Process, and others.

The suit may be read here: https://beta.documentcloud.org/documents/20422852-complaint360

Following is aerial video imagery of blasting that occurred 22 October, 2020 along that route. This video is cited in the Federal complaint.


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