Biden Signs Off on Arizona Border Wall Construction

The president previously criticized Trump for building the wall.

QUICK FACTS:
  • President Joe Biden has signed off on construction of a portion of the United States border wall near Yuma, Arizona.
  • The building plan includes filling at least four major gaps in the wall at the Arizona-Mexico border where illegal immigrants continuously cross.
  • Despite Biden’s 2020 campaign mantra that included “Not another foot” of the border wall, the administration has acquiesced to the need for more protection.
  • Although it was originally intended for the Defense Department to pay for the project, it will now be funded through the Homeland Security budget for 2021.
  • Biden’s decision came after Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) called out the president over the border wall, joining Republicans in their call to action
THE CONTINUATION OF TRUMP’S PLAN:
  • Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas authorized the new plan which was started during the Trump administration.
  • The agency said this project is part of an effort to “deploy modern, effective border measures” and improve “safety and security along the Southwest Border,” which is a strikingly similar goal to what the Trump administration attempted to take on.
BACKGROUND:
  • Border patrol personnel stopped migrants more than 160,000 times in Yuma’s border sector from January through June of this year, so the problem there is still unresolved for the Biden administration.
  • The Yuma sector continues to be the busiest migrant sector in the state of Arizona, with the number of migrant stops nearly quadrupling from the previous year.
  • During an interview in August 2020, Biden told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro: “There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.”