Heavy machinery is steep and sedentary. Stacks of steel balders go as far as they are seen.
The Trump administration built more than 450 miles of fence along the US-Mexico border – including hundreds of miles of replacement fences and 52 miles of construction where there were no barriers before. The wall became a focal point of his presidency, a platform for political rallies and a symbol of the administration’s controversial immigration cracks.
On the campaign trail, President Biden vowed not to make another leg. And they hastily stopped construction after taking office.
A big question has still not been answered, months headed by him: what will happen at the sites where construction was going on?
Currently fencing is 706 miles of the 1,954-mile US-Mexico border. We recently visited four locations along the stretch where the construction of the wall began, but it has been stopped since Biden became president.
So far, the new administration is not saying what will happen next at any of these places.
But the people who live and work in the area have a lot of what they want to see.
Here’s what we saw, and what they told us:
Stop 1: the view from the end of the road
It is almost the same as the construction of the boundary wall found in the Patagonia Mountains about 15 miles east of Nogales, Arizona. What you see now is a carved passage through an ancient desert landscape.
This is a scene that is familiar to all environmental activist Lichen Jördahl. A former park ranger, he spent the last four years campaigning against the border wall in these remote areas of Arizona.
Here’s how he describes the scenario:
Customs and Border Protection have said that border wall projects went through “environmental heterogeneous schemes” to analyze environmental impacts and reduce environmental impacts, including studies of how wildlife could be affected by projects Huh.
Jordahl says he has seen enough.
Stop 2: tracks tires in dirt, but no activity
At the Coronado National Memorial in Arizona, tire tracks in the dirt are reminiscent of heavy construction equipment that was here only a few months ago.
Back in December, the crew were working happily to finish the stretch of the wall here.
Now, the nearby roads are blocked, so we are not good enough to see what they have built.
But it is very clear: the landscape in the area has already changed dramatically.
Stop 3: A scorched hill and a half-built wall
In Guadalupe Canyon, the construction team was busy at work the last time we arrived. You can all hear that explosions of heavy machinery, construction teams and explosives were blasts in the mountains. Now, it is completely quiet.
Construction has come to a halt. And you can see a surrounded hill, a half-walled wall and a huge amount of steel – seemingly abandoned. Now remnants of the old steel border barriers are blocking access to the new wall.
For Jordan and other anti-border wall activists, the question is, how do you repair a mountain that now looks like this?
Stop 4: A scene calls a sheriff ‘silly’
In Del Rio, Texas, Val Verde County Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez is supposed to be two-miles up the border wall. So far, only a few hundred yards have been built.
Construction equipment is still on site. Deep trenches are dug.
You can still see the small fence that used to guard this section of the border. And it did the trick, says Martinez. Crime, theft and robbery went down as the structure resumed smuggling activity and gave Border Patrol agents more time to react. But now that this new structure – 30 feet long, fence – is half built, the sheriff hopes it will be finished.
And there is one thing that he knows he does not want to see: all the fences are being taken down – an idea suggested by some critics of the boundary wall.
The 60-day review period ended more than a month ago. But pushing for a response to its border wall plans in recent days, the Biden administration did not say much.
White House press secretary Jane Saki recently told reporters, “Federal agencies are reviewing the wall contracts and developing a plan to hand it over to the president soon.
CNN’s Ed Lavandera, Ashley Killough, Dave Ruff, Greig Cain and Joel de la Rosa reported from the US-Mexico border, CNN’s Catherine E. Schoichet reported from Arlington, Virginia, and CNN Madeleine Sticks from New York. Priscilla Alvarez of CNN contributed to this report.