Immigration

Trump’s Fake Wall is Dead

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Biden administration is moving so quickly on so many things, I cannot cover all of them, but I believe this one deserves special attention.

Trump's fake border wall -- which more or less began as a campaign gimmick and then morphed into the central policy of his regime at one point -- is no longer under construction.

Among the other executive orders President Biden signed last night was an order to halt any ongoing construction within one week.

Biden’s presidential proclamation rescinded the national emergency declaration used by President Donald Trump to divert about $10 billion from Defense Department accounts toward the barrier, one of the costliest federal infrastructure projects in U.S. history.

It directs private contractors to stop work “as soon as possible but in no case later than seven days,” while launching a full assessment of the project to determine whether its funding sources are legal and whether they can be allocated elsewhere.

Some construction may continue beyond next week, but only for sections of barrier that were explicitly funded by Congress. Some funds were appropriated by Congress to replace existing barriers that had been in place since the George W. Bush administration, but not to create brand new sections barriers. All other funding was stolen from the Department of Defense by Trump.

Biden's order also opens the doorway to 'terminating' or demolishing any ongoing construction that won't be completed within seven days.

Some activists want Biden to go further and actually dismantle new sections of barrier built under Trump, and I agree with them! But it may not be that simple. Removing new sections would cost money and that money would most likely have to come from Congress unless Biden pulls a Trump-style move and declares an emergency to remove it. I don't think he will or that he even should do that.

With that said, I certainly wouldn't claim I know exactly what he should do about it. It's legally and financially complicated even if the obvious moral choice is to remove it.

The most logistically feasible and legally justifiable method for removal may be to conduct an environmental review of the project and then use the results of that to fund the removal of sections that caused the most damage to the environment. It's possible that could be done without stealing from other departments and without explicit funding from Congress.