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Source : U.S. Customs and Border Protection
October 17, 2023
Author : Alex Bustillos
To build or not to build (the wall) was debated for years during the Trump administration, becoming a lightening point for debate.
Shockingly, the Biden administration has just announced that 26 federal laws will be suspended to permit the construction of a border wall in Texas. This is the first time the government has used an executive authority to finance the southern border projects.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated in a statement that the waived laws will aid in hastening the construction of roads and barriers in Starr County, Texas, which has noticed heavy entry from undocumented migrants.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first disclosed the project in June; in August, they released a map showing the additional work. The barrier will extend through Salineño, Texas, and begin south of the Falcon Dam.
As per the CBP's statement, the project comprises a movable concrete Jersey barrier-style base with 18-ft high and 6-inch diameter bollards embedded in it, along with access roads, lights, cameras, and gates.
More than 200,000 migrants were detained by CBP last month, which is the highest so far this year crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexico committed in September to implementing several deterrent measures, including returning migrants from its border cities to their countries of origin.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the DHS secretary, stated, "There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries in the United States in the project areas."
Environmental evaluations have the potential to increase project costs and delays. The permit approval process can last ten years, and the cost increases with each delay.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, home to endangered species of flora and animals, including ocelots, will be crossed by the proposed border wall.
Environmentalists claim that building the wall will disrupt wildlife movement patterns and devastate natural ecosystems. The U.S. Government Accountability Office published a study last month that described the serious harm that other sections of the border wall have done to Indigenous sites, public lands, and animals.
A wall between the United States and Mexico was one of former President Donald Trump's significant projects, and during his administration, over 458 miles of fence and other barriers were constructed along the almost 2,000-mile southern border in several states. Much of this was renovating or replacing pre-existing barriers; 21 miles of the 80 miles of new wall constructed by the federal government were in Texas.
Contractor News reported back in 2021 that even though Joe Biden had promised that no further border wall construction would happen, he had already begun ramping border wall projects.
While running for office, President Joe Biden promised to halt all wall construction between the two nations. Still, since that time, his administration has frequently provided funding for initiatives to reinforce pre-existing barriers and has also constructed additional structures in Texas. Additionally, Biden approved the filling of breaches in the border wall close to Yuma, Arizona.