US President, Joe Biden, is moving to topple border wall funding by former president, Donald Trump.
Biden has taken the Executive Action freezing all funding for the border walls and repurposed the funds for military defence and other uses, and has now terminated all the contracts.
It would be recall that ex-President Trump had campaigned in colourful verbiage that he would build walls across the Southern border of the United States to prevent irregular migrants and asylum seekers from Mexico, Latin America and South America and the southern neighbour Mexico would pay for the wall. In the end, after four years in the Oval office which ended in a landslide yet controversial defeat by Biden, Trump neither built any significant stretch of walls, nor did he make Mexico pay for it. Now, even the United State would not pay for the walls.
The Biden administration is formally returning billions of dollars back to the Department of Defense that had been diverted for wall construction at the southwestern border, and plans to cancel all related construction contracts, an administration official disclosed on Friday.
“Border wall construction under the previous administration tied up more than $14 billion in taxpayer funds, shortchanged our military, and diverted attention away from genuine security challenges like human traffickers.
“Rushed and haphazard wall construction also resulted in serious life, safety, and environmental issues,” the official said.
Amid its ongoing review to determine the fate of Trump’s border wall, the Biden administration also said it would launch two new projects along the 1,900-mile U.S.-Mexico border: one to fill holes in the Rio Grande Valley levee system left by the wall construction project, and another to address soil erosion in a 14-mile stretch of barrier construction by the Trump administration near San Diego, California.
While none of the project would involve building new border fencing, it is unclear when the Biden administration will complete its review of the overall Trump-era project.
“As Federal agencies continue to review the problems created by the prior Administration’s border wall construction and develop their plans, today they will start taking initial steps consistent with the President’s Proclamation to reaffirm our commitment to the military and protect border communities,” the official said in a statement.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from both parties, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas, have urged the Biden administration to address the gaps left in the federal levee system in southern Texas ahead of hurricane season, to help prevent flooding. Angry local officials threatened to plug the gaps themselves and seek reimbursement from the federal government down the line.
Howbeit, President Biden is still facing pressure from local border communities and both parties to announce his plans for Trump’s signature project.
Republicans have called on him to complete the wall amid the ongoing surge in migrants seeking to cross into the United States.