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Feds move ahead to replace US border barriers in New Mexico

Fence along the U.S./Mexico border in Santa Teresa, N.M. (Credit: KFOX14/CBS4)

The Trump administration is waiving numerous laws to clear the way for replacing existing vehicle barriers along a stretch of the US-Mexico border in New Mexico.

The notice published Monday in the Federal Register says the waiver extends around 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will replace the existing barriers with bollard walls to deter and prevent illegal crossings.

This marks the third time the Trump Administration has used broad powers under a 2005 law to waive laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act for the border barriers. In September, it waived reviews for a 3-mile stretch in Calexico, California.

Critics say the waivers are an overreach and a threat to the environment.

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