DHS Resumes Some Wall Repairs in Midst of Crisis
FAIR Take | May 2021
On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised voters that if elected he would immediately halt construction of the portions of the southern border wall that President Donald Trump kickstarted. Shortly after taking office, President Biden quickly ended President Trump’s national emergency declaration which allowed his administration to use Pentagon funds to construct the border barrier.
But now, the Biden administration announced that the Army Corps of Engineers would resume construction on a small section of the wall planned under the Trump administration. But here’s the kicker – it has nothing to do with the surging border crisis that has seen over half a million apprehensions in just six months. The administration cited the need to create levees – part of the initial plan – in an effort to control flooding before hurricane season begins in earnest.
In an announcement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) clarified that “This work will not involve expanding the border barrier” and even went out of their way to say that “DHS continues to review the extensive problems created by the prior administration’s border wall construction.”
Believe it or not, Biden once supported the very common-sense proposal to build a barrier on our border with Mexico. During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, Biden frequently said that the U.S. needed to build a wall to stop drugs coming in from Mexico, punish sanctuary cities, hold employers that hire illegal aliens accountable, and opposed giving driver’s licenses and other benefits to illegal aliens. That was 13 years ago. The increasingly open-borders Democratic party of today required Biden to shed his previously-held beliefs, or at least conveniently “evolve” them, in order to win the 2020 Democratic primary.
Today, Biden’s administration continues struggling to control the situation at our Southwest border. While Biden’s polled approval rating is high in other areas, 54 percent of those polled disapprove of the way his administration’s immigration policy.
Fortunately for Biden, there are steps his administration could take to end this self-created crisis: first, reinstate the successful Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), colloquially referred to as the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Second, renegotiate and reenter into the asylum agreements struck with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador that acted as de facto safe third country agreements. And finally, although it will not stop the crisis on its own, finishing construction of the wall will direct illegal aliens to the ports of entry, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and asylum agents can better handle their claims.