President Joe Biden took office vowing not to build “another foot” of Donald Trump’s border wall.
After a three-month freeze on all construction, the Biden administration has faced a growing border crisis — and in response, has quietly restarted work to complete a 13-mile stretch of the border according to Fox News.
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“Fox News has confirmed via the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that construction on a 13.4 mile stretch of border wall in the Rio Grande Valley will *RESUME* after pressure from local residents & politicians,” Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin wrote on Twitter. “The Biden admin previously halted all wall construction in Jan.”
The report was immediately controversial.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) confirmed that construction on the border had resumed but denied it was the actual wall.
Instead, the USACE said it was only using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds to support the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to reinforce a levee on the border.
“In support of CBP’s border infrastructure program, USACE has resumed DHS-funded design & construction support on approx. 13.4 miles of levee in the Rio Grande Valley that were partially excavated or at various levels of construction when work on the wall was paused for review,” the Biden administration said in an official statement.
In preparation for expanding the border wall under Trump, portions of land on the border were leveled to allow construction vehicle access. When the border wall’s construction was halted, these gaps were not filled — but in a region prone to flooding, these gaps put locals at risk should the Rio Grande river rise.
“To be clear, wall construction remains paused to the extent permitted by law,” USACE added. “Per DHS, we’ve started critical work to repair the Rio Grande Valley’s flood levee, which was excavated to make way for border wall.”
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“This remediation work will not involve expanding border barrier.”
Biden has come under fire for his mishandling of the border since taking office. Bruno Lozano — the Democratic mayor of Del Rio, Texas — demanded answers from the Biden administration during a recent Fox News interview.
“They keep telling us that the border is under control and I simply do not understand how with a 392% increase this fiscal year alone,” Lozano said. “Last year, we had 19,724 captures at this point”
“And right now, we’re at 97,398. I simply do not understand how that’s under control.”
The Horn editorial team