President Joe Biden has defunded work on the southern security wall with Mexico. He informed Congress Feb. 11 that he reversed President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration that funded construction of the wall.
The action comes as tens of thousands of migrants make their way to the U.S. and Mexico saying they will no longer accept migrants to be held there while waiting for vetting by U.S. immigration officials. Trump had enforced the policy of migrants being told they must wait in another country while asylum is assessed because it is the standard policy required under the immigration guidelines of the United Nations. Previous administrations had agreed to U.N. guidelines but never enforced them, allowing instead asylum seekers to illegally enter the U.S. and then apply for asylum.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” Biden said in a Feb. 10 statement. “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 move shocked many, especially since the 450 miles completed by the Trump administration had been credited with reducing the temptation for migrants to make the dangerous trek. Data shows a decrease in sex-trafficking, including of children, illegal drugs, and the number of gang members that have crossed the border. The Trump administration announced that it had met the goal of 450 miles being completed during Trump’s term.
One of the first Senators to criticize the Biden reversal is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
“President Biden can pretend there’s no emergency at our southern border, but his policies are drawing surges of illegal aliens. Americans will pay the price for the President’s free and open borders,” he wrote on Twitter on Feb. 11.
President Biden can pretend there's no emergency at our southern border, but his policies are drawing surges of illegal aliens.
Americans will pay the price for the President's free and open borders. https://t.co/9e5MeLFu8P
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) February 11, 2021
Others pointed to what they say is the hypocrisy of an administration that has welcomed barbed wire around the Capital’s centers of power, namely the White House and Capitol building but finds security fencing along the southern border unnecessary.
“The same Democrats who told you we don’t need a wall at the southern border, won’t take the wall down protecting them at the US Capitol,” Republican from Texas Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) tweeted.
Biden made canceling the wall a top priority of the very first Executive Orders he signed. In that order he stated that “building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution,” describing the project as “a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
Trump was credited for the reduction in illegal border crossings after he directed $2.5 billion in drug interdiction funds to be invested in the wall. Billions of dollars of drugs had previously flowed across the border each year.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had called Trump’s security border wall policy “ineffective” and criticized the military funding of the project as “wasteful.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice