DHS cancels 31 miles of border wall in Texas
Department of Homeland Security officials on Friday officially canceled contracts for the construction of a 50 km border wall that had been planned for Texas, saying the barriers were “not necessary” to save lives or help the environment.
Construction had not started on both segments and the federal government had not yet acquired any new land that would have been needed to build the wall there, the ministry said.
President Trump left office with about $ 2 billion unspent Congress-allocated wall money, although most of the money was earmarked and contracted. Friday’s decision marks the first cancellation of those plans.
The Biden administration said it was part of a larger $ 2 billion review.
“DHS continues to review all other suspended border fence projects and is in the process of determining which projects may be necessary to meet life, safety, environmental or other requirements and where to conduct environmental planning,” said the department by announcing cancellations. .
All construction of the wall has been suspended by order of President Biden. The Government Accountability Office says the break is legal, but ultimately Mr Biden has to spend the money on building the border wall unless Congress cancels the money.
Over 460 miles of barrier have been erected under Mr. Trump’s watch. Homeland Security was about 300 miles more under construction when Mr. Trump stepped down.
Mr. Biden ended much of this by revoking Mr. Trump’s border emergency declaration and returning the money Mr. Trump had siphoned off from Pentagon accounts. But the money allocated by Congress is a more delicate situation.
For now, the Biden team has promised a slow approach, saying it will complete environmental reviews that the Trump team believes will hamper construction.
The cancellation comes as the new administration faces an unprecedented increase at the border and the state of Texas has said it plans to start building its own border wall as the federal effort comes to a halt.
Republicans, including Mr. Trump said the wall could help direct the flow of people, giving border patrol officers a better chance of catching people trying to cross illegally. The Washington Times reported this week that 270,000 migrants have managed to escape capture so far this fiscal year.