In an unsurprising move, President Joe Biden canceled the national emergency declaration on the southern border that former President Donald Trump issued to facilitate the construction of his famed border wall.
According to Newsmax, Biden confirmed the decision to reverse Trump’s “unwarranted” declaration in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday, nearly two years after the order was first issued.
Trump’s emergency declaration
Trump issued the emergency declaration in February 2019 after a standoff with Pelosi and then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over funding for the border wall that precipitated the longest federal government shutdown in history.
The declaration allowed Trump to divert more than $6 billion from the Pentagon and Treasury to build the wall after he secured only $1.375 billion from Congress, Politico noted.
At the time, Pelosi and Schumer said that Trump was trying to “shred the Constitution” and that his order would face numerous challenges, according to Reuters.
Now, with Biden in power, Democrats are piecing the Constitution back together — as they understand it, anyway — with a spree of controversial executive orders undoing Trump’s agenda. And of course, they haven’t neglected to target his signature campaign promise.
Nearly two years after Trump’s proclamation, Biden reported to Pelosi that he had rescinded any further funding for the wall. “I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end,” the president wrote in his letter.
Biden moving aggressively
According to Fox News, Trump built about 450 miles of wall during his tenure in the White House.
Although construction will stop, Biden is leaving some 3,600 troops at the border to assist officials until the end of the fiscal year, Politico reports. A separate group of 600 troops sent to the border because of the coronavirus will leave in March.
Notably, Biden had already paused construction on the wall on his first day in office, just one piece of a sharply partisan agenda taking a hatchet to Trump’s no-nonsense approach on immigration and border security.
Biden is also calling for some 11 million illegal immigrants to receive citizenship and he has sought to pause deportations, among other steps, although most migrants at the border will be turned away for now under a pandemic-related policy, Title 42, as USA Today notes.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has told would-be migrants that “now is not the time to come” as critics warn that Biden is encouraging a surge at the border with his lax agenda, according to Fox.