Customs and Border Protection have conducted "controlled blasting" in Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where several sacred Native American burial sites are located, for "new border wall system construction," CBS News reports.
Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., told CBS the blasts were conducted on Monument Hill, which is a burial site for the Tohono O'odham Nation, without consulting with the Native American nation. The burial sites are located on public land "immediately adjacent" to the Native American reservation, which is private land.
"There has been no consultation with the nation," said Grijalva, who represents the district containing the reservation and chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources. "This administration is basically trampling on the tribe's history — and to put it poignantly, it's ancestry."
CBP told CBS the blasts are preparing for "new border wall system construction, within the Roosevelt Reservation at Monument Mountain in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector."
Grijalva sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security last month to "express serious concerns regarding border wall construction in the Tohono O'odham Nation," which informed him the DHS "is not respecting tribal lands and sacred sites as they proceed with border wall plans and construction."
The congressman told CBS that despite sending the letter, "there's been stonewalling, no response for any request."
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