During his campaign for office, President Donald Trump told voters that if elected he would build a “big, fat, beautiful wall” from coast to coast. Along the 1,250 miles of Texas-Mexico border, 110 miles of fencing already exist. If the Trump administration decides to construct more fencing along the rest of the Texas border, it will have to navigate deep canyons, a national park, an ever-shifting river and a treaty with Mexico that requires binational consent before structures can be built in the river’s floodplains. In some parts of the border, the wall has aggravated flooding and resulted in diminished property values for landowners.
Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at Grist. She previously covered environmental issues at the Texas Observer, InsideClimate News and ProPublica. At ProPublica, she was part of a team that reported on the water woes of the West, a project that was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University and was a 2017 Ida B. Wells fellow at Type Investigations. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her work on Twitter.