Biden Admin Waives Laws So Border Wall Construction Can Take Place

Biden Admin Waives Laws To Allow Border Wall Construction

( – On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden made a proclamation about the wall construction at the southern border. The US leader said that while every country should protect its borders, a giant wall across the entire southern border of the United States was not a “serious policy solution.” Biden called the prospect a “waste of money” that only distracted attention away from actual threats to America’s security. The president vowed that his administration would find other, better ways to operate the immigration system. He said there would be a review of the resources appropriated to the project and promised no more taxpayer money would go toward the wall construction. With that, Biden paused all wall-building efforts. Nearly two years later, construction is set to begin again.

What Happened?

On October 5, the Homeland Security Department filed a notice with the Federal Register stating it was necessary to waive some laws, legal requirements, and regulations to once again resume construction of barriers and roads near the Mexican/American land border in Starr County, Texas. The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas noted that the Rio Grande Valley Sector was a place of “high illegal entry,” with Border Patrol seeing nearly 250,000 encounters in that area as of August.

Mayorkas said the funds for the barrier construction were previously appropriated during the previous administration in 2019 by Congress, and DHS was required to use the money for the appropriated purpose. The secretary then specifically named the “project areas.”

Reactions to the Move

According to news outlets, a southwest conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, Laiken Jordahl, said building a wall in the proposed locations would go “straight through the heart” of endangered plant and animal habitats. She said wildlife migrations would stop, calling the move a “horrific step backwards.” Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar slammed the move as at “14th century solution to a 21st century problem.” He said he considers it wasteful. Others questioned why the Biden administration turned back on its word to stop wall construction at the southern border.

In response, the president said he couldn’t stop the project from moving forward because the funds were appropriated by the last administration. Biden said he asked Congress several times to re-appropriate those funds, but they refused. He still believes a wall at the border is not an effective way to deal with immigration.

After some controversy about the matter, Mayorkas released a statement to clear up some confusion. He confirmed there was “no new administration policy with respect to border walls.” The secretary said the administration needs Congress to provide funding so they can implement “smarter and more comprehensive” immigration tools. So far, that hasn’t happened, and he’s required to use the funding that is there as appropriated.

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