The work on his hallmark campaign promise involves mostly replacement fencing along a 46-mile stretch of desert west of Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and on 2 miles of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.
At the New Mexico site, about 20 workers placed rebar frames for concrete footers along the path of the wall. A 50-foot crane towered over the site, standing out on the treeless brushland and cracked washes that stretch for miles in every direction.
Workers broke ground between Columbus and Santa Teresa — small towns near ports of entry along the border between New Mexico and the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.
In Arizona, crews were installing 30-foot (9-meter) steel fencing to replace older barriers next to a border crossing known as Lukeville Port of Entry.