Joe Biden’s presidency began with the issuance of a series of executive orders designed to begin reversing former President Donald Trump’s success in curbing illegal immigration, and news came this week that one of those preliminary decisions will be made permanent.
According to the Washington Examiner Biden’s Department of Defense is going ahead with plans to cancel border wall construction work initiated by the Trump administration that was funded by money diverted from other agencies by way of a national emergency declaration.
Back in January, Biden signed an executive order pausing construction on the southern wall for a period lasting 60 days. The purpose of the temporary halt was to allow time for administration officials to determine the potential cost of voiding existing contracts and whether funds appropriated for the wall could be spent on other projects.
The delay itself was costing taxpayers roughly $6 million per day due to materials orders that had already been placed before the order was issued and also because of the expenses incurred toward compensating contractors whose equipment and workers were sitting idle, as Breitbart reported back in March.
Word came down this week, however, that the outstanding border construction work would indeed be scuttled once and for all. Deputy spokesperson for the Pentagon Jamal Brown explained that “Consistent with the President’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions.”
Brown added that the Defense Department has already begun rescinding the emergency funding, and stated, “Today’s action reflects this administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families,” Breitbart noted.
The decision’s announcement comes in the wake of reports suggesting that the administration may, however, restart border wall construction in certain areas in order to plug “gaps” in what is already in place. According to the Washington Times, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas informed Immigration and Customs Enforcement staffers in late last month that Biden’s plan to cancel emergency-funded construction left “room to make decisions” on other areas of security concern.
Regardless of what happens next, Democrats, including Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) hailed the president’s decision, saying, according to The Hill, “President Biden promised to not build one more foot of border wall under his watch, and I welcome this step by his administration to begin repairing the damage caused by border wall construction.”
On the other side of the aisle, Idaho GOP Sen. James Risch declared the move an “ill-advised decision at best” that would jeopardize national security, and considering a recent poll showing that a majority of respondents disapprove of Biden’s handling of the migrant surge at the southern border, it appears that a large swath of the American electorate tends to agree.