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Tohono O'odham Nation reaffirms opposition to wall along border






A view of the Tohono O'odham Nation. Photo: biotour13

The Tohono O’odham Nation was not consulted before Republican President Donald Trump ordered the "immediate" construction of a wall through its reservation, the tribe said in a statement.

The reservation in southern Arizona includes 75 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico. Tribal citizens live on both sides of the border and travel back and forth for ceremonies, to visit relatives and for other regular activities.

But as a "first responder" on the international border, the tribe "does not support a large scale fortified wall" through its lands, the statement on Thursday read. The tribe is instead inviting Trump to come to the region to learn more about the impacts of his controversial directive.

"The executive order signed yesterday was done without consultation with the Nation or many other border communities," the tribe said.

Trump's order did not say how much a border wall would cost or who would pay for it. But his spokesperson, during a press briefing at the White House on Thursday, said "one idea" was to impose some form of import tax on goods coming from Mexico.

The proposal for the border wall, which Trump promised to build during his campaign, prompted President Enrique Peña Nieto to call off a scheduled visit to Washington. He was due to meet with Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

Tribes in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas share populations, territories and sacred areas spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. But they are not included in Trump's order, which only treats border states as partners.

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