The government has reportedly sanctioned the destruction of Native American burial grounds in order to make room for the border wall.
Parts of a sacred Native American burial grounds are on the verge of being destroyed to accommodate the construction of Trump's border wall, an Arizona Congressman has revealed. Representative Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat for Arizona's 3rd congressional district, has, however, said he's still hoping for the crew to change course. Speaking to CNN, the congressman said: "You can't replace these things. You can't fix them once they're gone," Grijalva said. "And as someone that grew up in the borderlands, it's painful to know that this is occurring."
NEW: Trump is blowing up a national monument in Arizona to make way for the border wall https://t.co/GTnBg7s1Yz— Ryan Devereaux (@rdevro) February 6, 2020
Controlled blasts already began to take place inside Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument last week, which is adjacent to the historic monument, according to Ned Norris Jr., chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation. The news was initially reported by Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept on February 7.
The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an internationally recognized biosphere reserve. It includes about 330,000 acres of designated wilderness and is home to ancestral grounds sacred to the Tohono O’odham Nation, one of at least a dozen Native American groups. pic.twitter.com/PDuV2tg8fb— Jan Hofdijk (@JanHofdijk) February 10, 2020
In a statement given to The Intercept by the U.S. Customs and Protection, the news was confirmed. “The construction contractor has begun controlled blasting, in preparation for new border wall system construction, within the Roosevelt Reservation at Monument Mountain in the U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector,” the statement said, mentioning the portion of the monument, “The controlled blasting is targeted and will continue intermittently for the rest of the month.”
Blowing up a sacred Native American burial ground !?! Outrageous ! Even after centuries of abuse the US Gov’t is still bullying, disrespecting and screwing over Native Americans.— RKT ⚓️🚀🌊🇺🇸 (@moparist3) February 11, 2020
Grijalva accused Trump officials of fast-tracking the wall construction to gain political points instead of listening to the leaders of the Tohono O'odham Nation. "It's a political agenda, without worrying about consequences that could happen in terms of these sacred sites," he said. "It's more of a fear, given the behavior and given the lack of consultation, given the lack of concern," he continued.
I AM SO ANGRY ABOUT THIS. This is desecration both of our land and the Tohono O'odham Nation's burial ground. Let us flood Homeland Security with letters of protest based on Rep. Grijalva's, which they ignored. 1:2 https://t.co/tjzynvR7mc— Ellen Kushner, Queen of the Lizard People (@EllenKushner) February 10, 2020
"We hope that by putting some level of public light on this issue, it forces Homeland Security to think twice. It's all within their discretion," he said. "If they decide to do it differently, it can be done differently. This mountain (Monument Hill) is a sacred site to the O'odham and other indigenous people," he said. "And it's quite literally being blown up so Trump can build the border wall across this mountain. ... It's just heartbreaking to watch," Grijalva stressed.
This news comes in the light of the administration already waiving environmental regulations to quicken the construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border. The waiver applies to over 37 laws and regulations, most of which are related to the environment, a Home Land Security official told CNN.