US border wall construction restarts in Rio Grande Valley

The Department of Homeland Security said by law it is required to use the funds already appropriated by Congress in 2019 for the construction of the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley.

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The Biden Administration announced it will restart construction on the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley in Starr County, Texas. The construction of a 20-mile border wall between the U.S. and Mexico will be constructed from large bollards embedded in a concrete base, gates, cameras, and CCTV equipment.

The Department of Homeland Security said by law it is required to use the funds already appropriated by Congress in 2019 for the construction of the border wall in the Rio Grande Valley that was passed by the Trump administration. In accordance with the law, “it is necessary to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements” that fall under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said.

“I want to address today’s reporting relating to a border wall and be absolutely clear: There is no new administration policy with respect to the border wall,” Mayorkas said. “Allow me to repeat that: There is no new administration policy with respect to the border wall. We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money, but it has not done so, and we are compelled to follow the law.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, “$200 million out of the $1.375 billion that Congress designated for barriers in the Rio Grande Valley was still available by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30,” Causes.com reported.

“I’ll answer one question on the border wall: The border wall—the money was appropriated for the border wall,” President Biden said. “I tried to get them to re-appropriate it, to redirect that money. They didn’t, they wouldn’t. And in the meantime, there’s nothing under the law other than they have to use the money for what it was appropriated. I can’t stop that.”

Biden, who ran on a campaign promise that he would not continue building the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico if elected president, halted construction on the wall on his first day in office.

The U.S. Border Patrol said there were more than 245,000 migrants in the region during the 2023 fiscal year, Causes.com reported. And both Democrats and Republicans have pressured President Biden to institute border policies to address the uptick in migrants crossing into the U.S.

“Given the high flow of people, and the political pressure from the right and left, Biden had to be more assertive on enforcement,” Muzaffar Chishti, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, said. “Even his own party has been asking for strong measures.”

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