President Joe Biden has terminated the emergency order used by former President Donald Trump to justify construction of the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” Biden said in a letter sent Thursday to the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Kamala Harris in her role as president of the Senate
“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.”
Axios reported Trump had used the emergency order to divert billions of dollars in funds to build a wall on the southern border. It said the order was used after it became clear Congress was opposed to using additional funding for construction.
USA Today said that under the emergency declaration signed in February 2019, Trump was able to use $600 million from the U.S. Treasury Department and $6.1 billion from the U.S. Department of Defense for border wall construction.
The emergency proclamation was continued in February 2020, allowing Trump to divert an additional $3.8 billion from the Pentagon for the border wall construction.
Biden had announced he was going to rescind the emergency declaration on his first day in office.
The administration has also said that because of the pandemic, migrants coming to the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum will still be turned away.
“The vast majority of people will be turned away,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.