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Source : Wikimedia Commons
October 6, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
As we reported in January, Joe Biden repeatedly promised that construction of a border wall would totally cease in his administration. “There will not be another foot of wall construction in my administration,” Biden said in an August 2020 interview with Dallas Morning News. On another occasion, he promised to halt construction “on day one,” we noted in January.
Indeed, on Biden’s first day in office, he signed a proclamation that paused construction of the wall.
But this summer, “along the twisting Rio Grande, just south of McAllen, crews began building a new border wall this summer, and it continues apace,” NPR reports.
NPR report John Burnett continued:
“We're standing on a levee road one sweltering morning watching crews pour concrete into molds 18 feet tall. The wall will be topped with steel bollards six feet tall. They're now calling them guardrails. Customs and Border Protection says this is not a continuation of Trump's border wall. It's actually a levee wall to patch the original earthen levee that was damaged by Trump's wall contractors.”
But when the reporter visited the construction sites, he deduced that this was simply not true: the levee walls being torn out were not damaged and were just 10 years old. In fact, they were built by President Obama for the price of $19 million.
It’s worth noting that steel bollards serve absolutely no purpose in terms of preventing flooding.
Hidalgo County Commissioner Everardo Villareal said the existing levee “did the work that it was supposed to do during one of our last hurricane events.”
Back in June, Customs and Border Protection said that money appropriated by Congress to build the wall pushed for by President Trump was legally required to be spent on border wall. Congress originally $330 million towards the 13-mile section in Hidalgo County.
One local with land along the Rio Grande had land seized — six and a half acres — was holding out hope that things would change under Biden’s presidency. He borrowed one of the president’s catchphrases to condemn him, saying “it's a bunch of malarkey.”
“We have a levee. We don't need a wall,” he said. “As you can see, Biden didn't keep his word.”
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.