PHOENIX — A national monument in Arizona, home to Native American burial sites, is being blown up as part of construction for President Trump’s border wall. Blasting inside Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument began this week without approval from or consultation with the Tohono O’odham Nation whose burial sites are being destroyed by the construction.
Despite the fact that Native American sites do have special protections under federal law, the Trump administration exploited a loophole to override tribal sovereignty by invoking the REAL ID Act of 2005, which allows the federal government to ignore various laws in the name of national security.
“The Trump Administration and Republicans in Washington clearly have no desire to work with Arizona’s Native American communities. Instead, they are literally running roughshod over sacred burial sites and disrespecting Native Americans’ heritage. This cannot stand and voters will remember this in November,” said Rachel Hood, Native American Outreach Manager for the Arizona Democratic Party.