GAO Releases Report on Border Wall
Summary from AllSides News Team
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report Thursday on the southern border wall's natural and cultural impacts.
The Details: The report says the wall caused "various impacts, including to cultural resources, water sources, and endangered species, and from erosion," and that President Joe Biden's decision to halt the project in 2021 led to "safety hazards left at incomplete project sites" and threatened "the integrity of the barrier system."
Key Quotes: The report urges the Interior Department and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collaborate on "clearly defining their roles and responsibilities for" and "identifying the costs and time frames to complete all of the identified mitigation actions."
For Context: Former President Donald Trump authorized the wall's construction in 2017, and 458 miles had been built when Biden stopped the effort. In 2022, the Biden administration authorized construction to fill in gaps along the wall.
How the Media Covered it: Left- and center-rated sources covered the news more prominently than right-rated sources did, and framed it very differently. NBC News (Lean Left bias) said the report showed that Trump's "efforts to deliver on a campaign promise" hurt the "migration of endangered species, eroded federal lands, disrupted water flow and 'irreparably' damaged sacred tribal sites." Washington Times (Lean Right bias) said the report found that "President Trump’s border wall scarred the environment, but so did President Biden’s order to halt all work." Most left-rated sources didn't mention that finding, and focused on framing Trump's immigration policies negatively.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the CenterGAO report outlines how border wall construction damaged environment, wildlife, cultural sites
A federal report released Thursday found numerous instances where construction of the border wall during the Trump administration adversely impacted wildlife, the environment and Indigenous and other cultural sites on the Southwest border.
The report by the Government Accountability Office, “Southwest Border: Additional Actions Needed to Address Cultural and Natural Resource Impacts from Barrier Construction,” was prepared at the request of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, who is ranking member of the House Natural Resource Committee.
The report was meant to analyze how and whether the 458 miles of new...
From the RightTumbling down: Biden’s construction halt threatens ‘integrity’ of border wall
President Trump’s border wall scarred the environment, but so did President Biden’s order to halt all work, according to a report Thursday, which said the new administration ended up stopping all remediation work planned to repair the lands.
Erosion has become so bad that it “is now undermining the integrity of the panels that contractors installed,” according to Congress’ Government Accountability Office.
The problem was the breadth of Mr. Biden’s 2021 order stopping all wall activities. The contractors put down tools and walked away, leaving miles of unfinished wall, as Mr....
From the LeftTrump’s border wall caused 'significant damage and destruction' to environmental and cultural resources, watchdog says
Barriers constructed along the U.S.-Mexico border during the Trump administration caused "significant damage and destruction" to the environment and cultural sites, the Government Accountability Office said in a report Thursday.
The watchdog's 72-page document says former President Donald Trump's efforts to deliver on a campaign promise — to construct more than 450 miles of border barrier panels along the southwest border to deter illegal crossings and activity — hampered the migration of endangered species, eroded federal lands, disrupted water flow and "irreparably" damaged sacred tribal sites.
As they prepared to construct the wall...