There are still many gaps in the fence that are in need of gates and in some places it is not clear if the gaps will become gates, and if so what kind of gates. For example, the Hidalgo Pump House, a World Birding Center, has a gap in the wall where naturalists can enter the trails that lead to the Rio Grande River. A border patrol vehicle usually patrols right at this gap. During a number of visit to the Hidalgo Pump House we have yet to see anyone access these trails. Indeed, for many the idea of approaching a border patrol agent to seek permission to hike on nature trails on the south side of the Wall is daunting. It is not clear if the Birding Center will get a gate or will border patrol check the nationality of anyone bird watching on the South side of the Wall.
Near Brownsville the Loop family owns a home that will now be on the south side of the Wall. DHS has yet to full inform the family on what type of gate will be put in place to allow the family to access their land. The gaps normally measure about ten feet. Unless the gate is not mechanized, it will be too heavy for many to open. The story can be found at: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/articles/moves-104925-border-orchard.html#slComments
During a recent trip to the Wall we drove down to a number of gaps along clearly marked county roads. The gaps are now a favorite place for border patrol agents to patrol. We were stopped and told that we could not proceed because south of the Wall was private property. Our protests that we were on a public road were not heard so we had to turn back.
It is amazing that so little planning has gone into the construction of gates. Without the gates, and only the gaps, the Wall does seem like a fiasco. However, the end result might be to force landowners to give up claims on their properties south of the Wall. Indeed, naturalists are now not able to access Sabal Palm Audobon Center. Is it only a matter of time that the birding trails at the Hidalgo Pump House will officially become closed.