The Biden administration approved a plan to complete a section of the US-Mexico border wall near Yuma, Arizona, despite President Biden’s “Not another foot” mantra throughout his 2020 presidential campaign regarding Trump’s border wall construction and the executive order halting the completion of the wall..
As the US grapples with a record influx of illegal migrants, the US Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday that it would close four gaps in the Yuma 6 project area, a stretch of steel barrier near the Arizona city of Yuma erected by the Trump administration with Pentagon funds.
According to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, those gaps presented safety and life hazard risks for both the migrants attempting to cross into the US and the US agents responding to crossings due to the proximity of the Colorado River and the Morelos Dam.
NBC News described it as the third-busiest crossing point for illegal immigrants who use it to wade across the river and surrender to US agents, before Biden’s policy of ‘catch and release’ applies and they are set free in the US pending an eventual court hearing.
Republicans argue that Biden’s reinstatement of ‘catch and release’ is among the main reasons for the record numbers of illegal immigrants streaming across the border.
According to data from US Customs and Border Protection, some 1.74 million migrants were caught illegally entering the US in the first nine months of 2022.
Mayorkas explained that the construction in these locations will be funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s 2021 budget though the initial plans for it to be funded by the Defense Department.
Considering the fact that he has already issued a similar order last December to plug gaps along the Tucson, El Paso, Diego, El Centro, and Del Rio sectors of the border, it seems that the Biden administration’s apparent about-turn on the wall is not unprecedented.