President Joe Biden is currently facing a border challenge that is widely attributed by many Conservatives to his policy decisions. Upon assuming office, he opted to overturn several of former President Donald Trump’s stringent immigration measures, fulfilling one of his campaign pledges to the American populace. Subsequently, there was a notable increase in migrant arrivals at the border. In his efforts to address this situation, President Biden has found it necessary to retract some of his earlier commitments.
In the midst of the 2020 White House campaign, Biden engaged in a conversation with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro and issued a strong assurance: “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration, number one.”
Biden expressed his intention to emphasize technological methods to deter unauthorized border crossings. However, it didn’t take long for the president to deviate from that commitment once he assumed office.
In 2022, The Intercept reported that the Biden Administration had resumed construction of Trump’s border wall in Arizona, specifically in the Coronado National Forest and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. This was confirmed by Myles Traphagen, the borderlands coordinator for the Wildlands Network, and a security guard who acknowledged construction activities.
Additionally, the administration filled gaps in the border fence in Yuma, Arizona, with authorization from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas around the Morelos Dam. This marks a departure from Biden’s campaign promise, as the administration is now also building more border wall in Texas.
The Biden Administration has recently granted waivers for 26 federal laws to permit the construction of approximately 20 miles of border wall in South Texas. Congress had originally allocated funds for this project back in 2019. On October 5, the president justified his administration’s actions by explaining that he had attempted to redirect the allocated funds to different projects, but Congress did not approve this redirection.
Biden explained that legal obligations mandated the completion of the construction by 2023, leaving him with no alternative but to recommence the project. When asked by a reporter if the new barrier would deter people from entering the country, the president replied in the negative, saying, “No.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reiterated the administration’s stance that the border wall is not the solution and has remained consistent. In response to the news, Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador expressed his view that it represented a setback and did not resolve the underlying problem.