Advocacy groups claimed on Thursday that the Biden administration had agreed to lower a portion of the border wall slated to be built in the country’s southwest. They dismissed the concession as a show of good faith.
A building halt at Friendship Park, established in 1971 as a representation of links between the United States and Mexico in response to opposition, was brought about in August.
Visitors to the beachside park between San Diego and Tijuana could readily interact and speak for decades, but during the past 15 years, access from the United States has increasingly decreased.
The U.S. According to the Rev. John Fanestil of Friends of Friendship Park, Customs and Border Protection has agreed to lower a double wall for 60 feet (18.3 meters), or about the length of a tractor-trailer.
The height will decrease to 18 feet (5.5 meters) from 30 feet in that portion (9.1 meters).
When questioned about the modified design, CBP remained silent. It expects construction to start early this year and take approximately six months to finish but stated in a news release on Tuesday that it “created a solution that fits the border security demands of the area while also addressing concerns from the community.”
Fanestil claimed that CBP staff informed him that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had approved the modifications.
Chris Magnus, fired from his position as CBP commissioner in November after less than a year on the job, said he wanted to address community concerns before moving forward with the Trump-era deal.
The choice was made a week after President Joe Biden commended Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador for not erecting “even one meter of a border wall,” which is not entirely accurate.
Biden has pursued modest projects in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Yuma, Arizona, and San Diego, while Trump completed hundreds of miles.
According to Fanestil, the San Diego project contains 0.3 miles of a double-layer wall that now climbs 18 feet.
In addition to its height, it will be constructed of closely spaced steel bollards, which are more opaque than the current material.
Friends of Friendship Park issued a statement calling the idea to “dip” the main border wall to 18 feet for a brief section close to Friendship Park’s center “a token and inadequate gesture.”
The CBP agreed to keep the policy of opening the outer gate at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for up to 25 individuals at a time to communicate with those on the Mexican side over a steel mesh barrier.