President Joe Biden has announced in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he has rescinded former President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration used to secure funding for the southern border wall, even as new migrant caravans make their way towards the U.S.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” Biden wrote, according to The Hill.
“I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end,” Biden added.
On his first day in office last month, Biden signed an executive order halting border wall construction and ordering a review of the emergency declaration.
Trump issued the emergency declaration in early 2019 after sparring with both Democrats and Republicans for the duration of his presidency up to that point over funding for the border wall. Even during his first two years when the House and Senate were in Republican hands, he couldn’t get it funded.
The Trump administration said that more than 450 miles of new and improved border wall were built during his administration.
Trump critics were grateful for Biden’s reversal.
“Trump’s national emergency was never about security. It was about stealing money to fund a monument to his racist policies along the Southern Border. Now we must cancel the contracts & ensure that not another foot of border wall is constructed,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), wrote on Twitter, echoing a familiar criticism of Trump that his supporters consider baseless.
Biden’s proclamation, one more of dozens of executive actions taken in the roughly two weeks he’s been in office, came after the White House requested the U.S. Supreme Court cancel a scheduled hearing to determine the border wall’s legality, which the high court granted.
“The President has directed the Executive Branch to undertake an assessment of ‘the legality of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall,’” the administration communicated to the court earlier this month.
Previously, House Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans wrote a letter to recently confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking him to provide them with all materials related to Biden’s decision to halt wall construction.
“This potentially dangerous action not only harms our national security and thwarts the will of Congress, but also leaves American citizens living near the southwest border vulnerable to activities involving cartels and smugglers,” the GOP members, led by Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), said.
Meanwhile, thousands of migrants from Central America have already begun making their way towards the U.S. border to take advantage of Biden’s lax border enforcement policies.
“What I want for my people, I just want to get to the US because they’re having a new president, with Biden, he’s going to help all of us,” one Honduran man told CNN last month.
Former Trump administration officials who helped craft and carry out his immigration policies are warning that Biden’s approach will reverse all of the national security and legal gains of the previous four years.
“He’s taken away from the Border Patrol the basic tools they need to keep this country safe,” former senior White House adviser Stephen Miller said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.
“That’s why you’re seeing what you’re seeing,” he added in reference to an expected 152 percent increase in illegal crossings.
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