The work on the #Mexico Border Wall, promised by President Donald Trump, is set to start from Texas and environmentalists are up in arms because it will isolate the Santa Ana National #wildlife Refuge and will not only deprive nature lovers but would also disturb the wildlife in the region.

This refuge is home to an innumerable variety of birds and wildlife and constructing a wall would devastate the economy of the region where the poor live. This refuge is a paradise for birdwatchers paradise and attracts more than 165,000 visitors every year, many of them come from different corners of the world. A study carried out in 2011 has revealed that nature tourism in the Rio Grande Valley is a money spinner and brings in millions every year, thanks to the feathered friends.

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Stand of Homeland Security

According to Los Angeles Times, the Mexico border wall would allow Homeland Security to check immigration and drug-smuggling in the Rio Grande Valley which is one of the routes used by them since there is no barrier at many places. They take advantage of this, hence such a wall is necessary to ensure there is no gap. However, environmentalists feel that adequate attention has not been given to aspects that pertain to the well-being of wildlife.

Initial work has already started on the construction of three miles of concrete levee wall and fence, and soil samples have been taken for further action. The proposed barrier may be effective against illegal migrants and drug traffickers but would, also, isolate the birds and wildlife in the region and ruin the environment.

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The impact would be felt on tourism and on the locals, who depend on tourists.

The wildlife refuge

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is spread across nearly 2000-acres in the southern tip of Texas. It was created by the federal government in 1943 and is under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was meant to protect migratory and other birds and is home to a few animals as well. Some, like the ocelot, belong to the family of the endangered. The worry of #environmentalists is that a barrier along the levees would put the lives of animals at risk. In the event of floods, it would be a hindrance. In 2010, when the Santa Ana refuge was in the grip of floods from Hurricane Alex, many plants and animals perished.

In the opinion of Filemon Vela, Democrat from Brownsville who represents the area of the border including Santa Ana, these areas are to be treated as national treasures and must be protected.

The Mexico border wall is a major project and would need billions of dollars which have yet to be sanctioned. Therefore, the need to have such a wall could be reviewed because reports in the media indicate that, because of strict vigilance at the borders, there is already a drop in the number of migrants who are trying to enter the US illegally.