Biden Asserts Necessity of Utilizing Trump-Era Border Wall Funds; Rejects Effectiveness of Wall Barriers

by Madison Thomas
Biden Border Wall Construction

President Joe Biden offered a defense on Thursday for his administration’s authorization of the waiving of 26 federal statutes in South Texas, facilitating the construction of approximately 20 additional miles of border wall. The President stated that the allocation of funds during the Trump administration for this purpose left him with no alternative but to proceed with the barrier aimed at curtailing illegal immigration from Mexico.

When queried about his views on the efficacy of such barriers, President Biden unambiguously stated, “No.”

The announcement for the new construction came in June; however, the monetary allocation for the project was made in 2019, preceding Biden’s term in office. The President indicated that he attempted to have the funds repurposed through legislative channels, but Congress declined to do so. Existing law mandates that the allocated funds must be expended as initially intended, and the construction is slated for completion in 2023.

“Congress earmarked the money for the border wall. I have no authority to override that,” said Biden.

Nevertheless, the suspension of federal laws for the construction, a move also undertaken during the tenure of Republican President Donald Trump, has raised eyebrows, especially considering Biden’s earlier critique of border wall expenditures during his presidential campaign. One of his initial actions as President was to cease the deployment of emergency funds for the wall construction along the Southern border and terminate the associated national emergency declaration.

The decision arrives amid the Biden administration’s struggle to handle a rising tide of migrants at the border and within larger U.S. cities. Democratic leaders from New York, Chicago, and Washington are seeking federal assistance to manage the swelling migrant populations in their jurisdictions. On Thursday, administration officials announced the resumption of deportations to Venezuela as a measure to mitigate new arrivals.

The Republican party, conversely, criticizes President Biden for his perceived ineffectiveness in border policy, with some members proposing to withhold further funding for efforts in Ukraine unless there is a significant augmentation in border security funding.

This move has also elicited disapproval from immigrant rights activists and Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador, who termed it a “regression.”

“It’s a regression because it doesn’t solve the issue,” López Obrador remarked on Thursday, having previously commended Biden for not engaging in wall construction.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an announcement regarding the wall construction in Starr County, Texas, without providing extensive details. The area, part of the busy Rio Grande Valley Sector, has witnessed approximately 245,000 illegal crossings in the current fiscal year.

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, clarified the administration’s stance, stating, “From the inception of this administration, we have been unequivocal that a border wall is not a solution. That remains our unwavering position.”

Much of the territory alongside the Rio Grande is susceptible to erosion and comprises federally protected habitats. Usually, federal projects in these areas would undergo multiple environmental assessments, but U.S. immigration authorities have been granted the power to bypass such reviews for more expeditious barrier erection.

Civil liberties groups have denounced the decision. Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at the American Civil Liberties Union, stated, “Instead of upholding his campaign promise that a border wall is not a meaningful policy solution, the Biden administration is doubling down on failed strategies that have proven both wasteful and ineffective.”

While this is not the first instance of border wall construction under the Biden administration, the wall has been closely associated with Trump’s stringent immigration policies. Trump, who remains a leading contender for the Republican nomination for the 2024 Presidential election, commented that Biden’s move validates his original position on the wall’s utility.

“As I’ve always maintained, over the millennia, only two things have consistently worked: wheels and walls,” Trump proclaimed on his social media platform, awaiting an apology from Biden for the delay in action.

Contributions to this report were made by Big Big News writer Nomaan Merchant.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Biden Border Wall Construction

What is the reason behind President Biden’s decision to continue the border wall construction in South Texas?

President Biden cites the use of funds allocated during the Trump administration as the primary reason for the continuation of the border wall construction. According to existing law, the allocated funds must be used for their intended purpose, and Biden states he has no authority to override that. The construction is also required to be completed by 2023 based on congressional mandates.

Did President Biden try to redirect the funds for the border wall to other uses?

Yes, President Biden indicated that he attempted to have lawmakers redirect the funds to other purposes, but his efforts were not successful as Congress declined to repurpose the money.

What is President Biden’s stance on the effectiveness of border walls?

President Biden has made it clear that he does not believe border walls are an effective solution for controlling illegal migration. When asked directly if he thought such walls work, he flatly responded, “No.”

How have Democratic leaders in major U.S. cities reacted to the increasing numbers of migrants?

Democratic leaders from cities like New York, Chicago, and Washington have requested federal assistance to handle the growing numbers of migrants in their jurisdictions.

What are the Republicans’ views on Biden’s border policy?

Republicans criticize President Biden for what they perceive as ineffective border policy. Some members of the party have even suggested they would withhold further funding for efforts in Ukraine unless there is a substantial increase in border security funding.

How did Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador react to the news?

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador described the decision as a “regression,” stating that it doesn’t solve the issue of illegal migration. He had previously praised Biden for not engaging in wall construction.

What is the stance of the Department of Homeland Security on this issue?

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, stated that the administration’s position remains that a border wall is not the solution to the problem of illegal immigration. This stance, according to him, has never wavered.

How has this decision been received by civil liberties groups?

Civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have denounced the decision, citing it as a failure to uphold Biden’s campaign promise that a border wall is not a meaningful policy solution.

More about Biden Border Wall Construction

  • Biden Administration’s Official Statement on Border Policy
  • Congressional Records on Trump-Era Border Wall Funding
  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Statement
  • Reaction from Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador
  • American Civil Liberties Union’s Commentary on Biden’s Decision
  • Republican Party’s Position on Border Security Funding
  • Overview of Current U.S. Immigration Policy
  • Past Statements from President Biden on Border Wall
  • Data on Illegal Crossings in the Rio Grande Valley Sector

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Emily_Writes October 6, 2023 - 12:26 am

A classic example of how past decisions can haunt present actions. Also, I can’t believe we’re still talking about this wall in 2023!

VicTorres October 6, 2023 - 1:15 am

So the wall is still going up but nobody really wants it? Sounds like govt inefficiency at its finest.

FinanceGuru October 6, 2023 - 4:54 am

The economics of this are insane. All that money into something the pres himself says isn’t effective. Should’ve redirected that cashflow somewhere else, if Congress had let him, that is.

GreenActivist October 6, 2023 - 7:05 am

concerned about the environmental reviews getting waived. What about the habitats and erosion?

JohnDoe October 6, 2023 - 9:54 am

Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Biden said walls don’t work, but he’s still got to build one cuz of the laws and funds already in place. What a mess!

PoliticoThink October 6, 2023 - 5:07 pm

Republicans must be having a field day with this. Also, tying Ukraine funding to border security? That’s another level of political chess right there.

Mike87 October 6, 2023 - 6:47 pm

so biden thinks walls don’t work but he’s still building one? Makes zero sense to me. Is it just politics as usual?

HumanRights4All October 6, 2023 - 7:35 pm

This decision is gonna have advocates up in arms, but honestly what options did Biden have. Its not like he had a magic wand to change congressional allocations.

SarahM October 6, 2023 - 8:18 pm

Isn’t it ironic? He’s gotta use the Trump-era funds he criticized. But hey, laws are laws and sometimes your hands are just tied.

CryptoQueen October 6, 2023 - 8:56 pm

What’s more secure? A physical wall or a digital firewall for better cybersecurity. Maybe those funds could’ve been put to better use?


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