President Joe Biden has already worked to undo the great progress President Donald Trump had accomplished on border security, including halting construction of the wall on our southern border.
However, according to a recent report, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is considering plans to resume construction of the border wall, or at least certain portions of it, Breitbart reported.
Biden’s pause on border wall construction
On Biden’s first day in office, he issued an executive order that canceled the declared emergency at the southern border that was used by Trump to divert funds to supplement border wall construction.
Biden’s order to pause all border wall construction was contingent on the “extent permitted by law” and acknowledged that “urgent measures” to fulfill the obligations of congressionally-authorized spending may necessitate some additional construction of the border wall.
It appears that those contingencies, particularly a nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) probe into the legality of the ordered pause, have already come into play.
Construction will resume to fill “gaps”
According to The Washington Times, which obtained notes from a recent meeting between Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees, the DHS secretary acknowledged that he was reviewing plans submitted by Customs and Border Protection to continue construction on certain portions of the border wall.
“It’s not a single answer to a single question. There are different projects that the chief of the Border Patrol has presented and the acting commissioner of CBP presented to me,” Mayorkas reportedly said.
“The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of DOD funds to the construction of the border wall is ended,” he continued. “But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished.”
The secretary noted that the plans he was referring to included plugging “gaps in the wall,” placing “gates” in certain areas, and finishing sections “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”
Report confirmed by press secretary
Given how this development sharply contrasts with Biden’s oft-stated opposition to the border wall, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the report during Tuesday’s press briefing. Although she sought to dance around the query, she nonetheless acknowledged the report was accurate.
“Well, wall construction remains paused, to the extent permitted by law,” Psaki said. “So some has already been funded through a congressional authorization and funding allocation. But as agencies develop for a plan — it’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the President on the management of the federal funds.”
Following more explanatory spin, she admitted, “It is — it is paused. There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused.”