Work on more border wall starts in Arizona, New Mexico

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Workers break ground on new border wall construction about 20 miles west of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Aug. 23, 2019. The wall visible on the left was built in 2018 with money allocated by Congress, while the new construction is funded by money reallocated from Department of Defense funding. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — Work crews in Arizona and New Mexico are forging ahead with construction of taller border fencing being funded through a national emergency declaration by President Donald Trump.

His hallmark campaign promise is taking shape along a 46-mile stretch of desert west of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and on 2 miles of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.

At the New Mexico site Friday, about 20 workers placed rebar frames for concrete footers along the path of the wall.

Environmentalists have sued over some of the construction contracts, saying the government unlawfully waived dozens of laws to be able to build on protected lands.

They say more barriers would be detrimental to wildlife habitat and would block the migration of animals such as bighorn sheep and wolves.

Two cases are pending before federal court.

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