Biden terminating border wall construction contracts
The Department of Defense has announced that President Joe Biden is canceling contracts for wall construction on the US-Mexico border that used funds originally intended for military missions and functions.
“Consistent with the President’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” said Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon spokesman, in a statement.
In his first days in office, Biden froze all money going towards constructing the border wall, halting its progress. Biden also terminated former President Trump’s national emergency declaration along the border.
“DoD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners,” Brown continued. “Today’s action reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”
In 2019, after failing to obtain funding for a border wall in the federal budget passed by Congress, Trump declared a national emergency at the border, allowing his administration to dip into Pentagon funds for constructing the wall. Although the move led to multiple lawsuits, none of them resulted in a halt to construction.
Since 2019, more than 340 miles have been built in various locations along the border using Pentagon funds, according to US Customs and Border Protection.
The Biden administration’s decision comes as more than 19,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the border in March alone. Reports of overcrowding at various migrant detention centers have caused many to label the situation at the border a crisis. Biden put Vice President Kamala Harris in charge of the border on March 24 and has received criticism for not yet visiting the overcrowded migrant detention centers.