Since taking office, President Joe Biden has taken a series of steps deliberately designed to reverse his predecessor’s achievements on border security as well as in the fight against illegal immigration.
According to Breitbart, the Biden administration’s decision to halt construction of the southern border wall initiated by former President Donald Trump is costing taxpayers roughly $6 million each day, even as a massive surge of migrants is developing into a full-blown humanitarian crisis.
Within his first week in the Oval Office, Biden issued 17 executive orders – six of which were immigration-related – including one that ordered construction on the border wall to be paused for a period of 60 days, as the Associated Press reported. The point of the pause, according to the AP, was to allow time for officials to assess how much it would cost to void existing contracts and whether funds already appropriated for construction could be used in other ways.
A senior official from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Breitbart that the $6 million in daily costs currently being accumulated are the result of orders for materials that were placed prior to the pause as well as the expense involved in compensating contractors for the costs of equipment that is sitting idle.
While the temporary halt on construction was due to expire on March 21, it remains unclear what will happen next, and a restart of construction is far from certain. Officials from the Biden administration have yet to reveal next steps, and according to Breitbart, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not respond to inquiries on the matter.
For their part, a contingent of Republican Senators last week alleged that Biden violated federal spending laws when he stopped funding for and construction of the border wall and linked that decision to the recent rise in illegal crossings that is overwhelming resources at the local, state, and federal levels, according to Roll Call. The lawmakers also requested a legal opinion from the U.S. Government Accountability Office on the issue.
This all comes as DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas projected that the ongoing influx of migrants at the southern border will break a 20-year record, and child advocates who have interviewed current detainees have reported severely deteriorating conditions in which youth are hungry, have only limited opportunities to shower, and are having to take turns sleeping on floors.
For his part, former President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a statement on the escalating crisis, declaring:
We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of just a few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast.
With the expiration of the construction pause now upon us, only time will tell whether Biden will double down on his campaign pledge to build “not another foot,” or he will moderate his stance in response to the undeniable crisis his policies have already produced.