Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Biden’s expansion of the Mexico border wall is unjust, hypocritical

The Biden administration is extending the U.S.-Mexico border, with a new section recently approved to start construction. The project will add 20 miles to the barrier in Texas, according to NPR. This is a direct contradiction to Biden’s campaign promises to put an end to the building of the border wall. This hypocrisy allocates American tax money and waives more than two dozen laws in an inhumane attempt to prevent illegal immigration.

The border wall construction will have severe environmental consequences, such as fragmenting the habitats of endangered species. (Photo by Zeinab Rakhshandehroo)

Though a small distance compared to Trump’s 450 miles of the wall, this expansion will have detrimental effects on the environment. The construction of the wall is waiving 26 federal environmental laws and will cut through the lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, according to AP News. This interruption will cause extensive habitat destruction to the area, threatening endangered species such as ocelots, whose numbers are just barely beginning to recover.

Furthermore, the border wall will intrude on Native American territory, ​​bisecting fields where the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe as well as other tribes source peyote, a type of cactus, for sacramental use in their cultural traditions. It would also cut through or near old village sites and trails, according to The Guardian. This is an immense disrespect to those communities, infringing upon Indigenous people’s rights to the land. Native communities who have already lost much of their land and culture, are having even more of their identity stolen from them by the construction of the wall.

The Biden administration is waiving more than two dozen environmental and cultural protections to expand the wall; these include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. This is incredibly unjust: protections that are vital to the health of the environment and cultural identity of Indigenous groups are being ignored and manipulated. The government is not above the law, and the Biden administration should not waive these laws just to continue the expansion of a wall they promised to stop.

Ultimately, the Biden administration’s approval to continue to expand the wall is hypocritical and unjust, having detrimental effects on the environment and harming Native American lands and communities. Our tax money should not be spent on the construction of a wall that causes such extensive damage. 

Although we are unable to act against the recent decision to expand the border wall, we must lobby our politicians to prevent future expansion of such policies and abuse of protection laws. Through simple acts such as educating our peers on this issue and writing to our congressional representatives, we can achieve meaningful change and improvement.

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About the Contributor
Zeinab Rakhshandehroo, Lifestyles Editor
Zeinab is a senior and is super excited to be one of the Lifestyles editorw in her third year with The Epitaph. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading and spending time outdoors.

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