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“No other foot.”
Those were the words Joe Biden used as a mantra during his 2020 presidential campaign regarding the construction of the US-Mexico border wall. But on Thursday, the Biden administration approved a plan to complete part of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona.
The plan involves filling in four major holes in the wall that will keep the Yuma area one of the busiest corridors for illegal immigration crossings.
Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas approved the new plan, which was started by the Trump administration, in an effort to “deploy modern, effective border measures” and “improve safety and security along the southwest border,” the agency said.
The project will be funded from Homeland Security’s 2021 budget, although it was initially planned to be funded by the Department of Defense.
Yuma’s frontier sector remains an unresolved issue for the Biden government, as border police have stopped migrants from January to June in the sector more than 160,000 times this year.
The figure is nearly four times the number of migrants who quit last year, and the Yuma sector remains the busiest migrant sector in the state of Arizona.
Del Rio and Rio Grande Valley in South Texas were the only other sectors with more traffic along the entire US-Mexico border.
The Yuma sector was particularly busy under former President Trump, who had parts of the border wall built or reinforced. A plaque was also installed along the 2020 Yuma border, confirming Trump’s role in securing the wall.
Biden’s decision to secure the border wall comes after Senator Mark Kelly, D-AZ, called on the president to secure the border. Republican legislators made similar calls.
The Biden administration’s silent approval of the wall’s construction also comes after Biden often used it as a means to contrast his policies with those of the Trump administration.
In the past, Biden has been repeatedly critical of Trump, his border wall and his immigration policies — which he called “xenophobic” and “racist.”
In an op-ed published in the Miami Herald, Biden specifically wrote that the slogan “build the wall” was “separate from reality” and that a wall “will not stop the flow of illegal narcotics or human trafficking, both of which are in the first place.” come through legal gateways.”
“It will also not reduce the number of undocumented migrants, most of whom stay on legal visas for too long,” he added.
During an August 2020 interview, Biden told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, “There will not be a second meter of wall built on my government, No. 1.”
“I’m going to make sure we have border protection, but it’s going to be based on making sure we use high-tech capability to deal with it. And at the entry gates — that’s where all the bad stuff happens,” he added.
Biden also stopped building new border walls after he took office and has told Congress to cancel funding for border wall construction.
He’s been staged ever since border security measures. Biden also continues to use billions of dollars appropriated by Congress to build the wall. He cannot legally refuse this – he is only allowed to pause border construction projects.
Republicans have repeatedly sued Biden for pausing construction of the border wall.
“The Biden administration’s blunt refusal to use funds already set aside by Congress to build the border wall is not only illegal and unconstitutional. It is also wrong,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. in a lawsuit filed in October 2021.
In January, Biden announced a pause in the construction of a border wall about 80 miles (80 km) along the Rio Grande, citing an environmental study.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.