U.S. "quietly" preparing to erect wall along Mexico border

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MEXICO CITY, July 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial border wall with Mexico is being "quietly" prepared for construction in Texas, Mexico's state news agency Notimex said on Monday.

"The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office quietly started preparations to build the first stretch of the border wall in an area of southeast Texas," the agency said.

Notimex cited the weekly Texas Observer as saying the initial tract will be built along the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge located in southeast of McAllen, Texas.

The article apparently focused on the environmental impact of the wall, and an adjacent highway, with one federal official telling the weekly the construction work "will essentially destroy the refuge."

According to the weekly, preparation work is being carried out and construction could begin by January 2018.

This segment of the border division will have a concrete base supporting a fence made of steel bollards, have a height of 5.4 meters and run for some 4.8 kilometers, said the weekly, adding a similar wall was erected near Hidalgo, Texas, 10 years ago.

Portions of the U.S.-Mexico border have been fenced or walled off over the years, but Trump has called for a more substantial impenetrable barrier, similar to the one that Israel built in the West Bank.

This part of the border was chosen to start the wall because the land already belongs to the federal government, the weekly said, whereas some 95 percent of the Texas border is private property that would have to be purchased or confiscated first. Enditem

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