The decision by President Joe Biden’s administration to build a new section of the border wall in southern Texas contradicts his previous promise not to build any more walls. This move comes as the number of illegal border crossings continues to rise, causing strain on US cities and raising concerns about environmental impact.
The construction of a border wall was a signature policy of former President Donald Trump, and it was fiercely opposed by Democrats. During his campaign, Biden promised not to build another foot of wall if elected. However, he now claims that he “can’t stop” the construction because the funding had already been allocated.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) defended the decision, stating that the funds were already appropriated by Congress for the construction of a border barrier in the Rio Grande Valley. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also argued that there is an immediate need to construct physical barriers to prevent unlawful entries into the US.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the announcement, stating that a wall is contrary to what President Biden had previously advocated. He suggested that there is strong pressure from extreme right-wing political groups in the United States influencing this decision.
The rising number of illegal border crossings has become a vulnerable issue for President Biden. Government data shows that more than 245,000 crossings have been made this year in the Rio Grande Valley area alone, with September expected to be a record month. Several US cities are feeling the strain of the influx, with New York City Mayor Eric Adams predicting a rise in housing costs for the new arrivals.
The decision to build the new section of the wall has also angered environmentalists. Dozens of federal laws, including the Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, have been waived to approve its construction. Environmentalists argue that the structures will cut through the habitats of endangered plants and animals, and they criticize President Biden for disregarding environmental laws.
According to a proposal by the US Customs and Border Protection, the new section of the wall will consist of large bollards embedded in a concrete base, along with gates, cameras, and CCTV equipment. Funding secured during the Trump administration will be used for this construction.
Overall, President Biden’s decision to build a new section of the border wall contradicts his previous promises and has raised concerns about environmental impact. It remains to be seen how this decision will impact immigration levels and the overall perception of the Biden administration’s immigration policies.