President Biden implemented a 60-day moratorium on border wall construction on his first day in office. The order suspended the national emergency declaration and halted all construction of the border wall. Under the Trump administration, 452 miles of border wall had been built or updated, with an additional 350 miles still funded at the end of his term.
Many open borders advocates claim that the Biden administration could “save” $2.6 billion by ending construction on the wall. Conversely, stopping construction has cost $6 million a day since the moratorium went into effect on January 26.
The previous administration had already issued several contracts for remaining sectors of the wall and the federal government is required to continue to pay these companies until the contracts are fulfilled or actually cancelled. The Biden administration missed the deadline of March 21 to announce their plan and did not make a statement on the status of the contracts at that time.
However, on April 30, the administration announced, “Consistent with the president’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions.”
Additionally, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outlined how it will protect border communities from the construction of the wall itself (as if that is somehow more important than protecting citizens from the negative impacts of illegal immigration), noting repairs to the Rio Grande Valley’s flood barrier system and remediating soil erosion in San Diego as a result of border wall construction.
The immediate and long-term fiscal impacts of the cancelled construction far outweigh the $2.6 billion that the American people will supposedly save. In total, we have already paid these contractors more than $400 million to do no work. Furthermore, according to a FAIR study, illegal immigration costs taxpayers $135 billion annually, an expense that continues to grow every year. The wall is a one-time cost that has a positive impact on fiscal costs across the nation. Sacrificing our nation’s security carries costs that last lifetimes.
Failing to fortify the southern border will mean more illegal aliens entering this country unimpeded. And, in a year that is already experiencing a record high number of apprehensions, we can expect the fiscal impact of illegal immigration on American taxpayers to skyrocket in the near future.
In March, 40 Republican senators asked the Government Accountability Office to determine if the moratorium violated the Impoundment Control Act, which prevents the executive branch from withholding funds for policy reasons and outlines a process for seeking to delay funds appropriated by Congress. The senators added, “As these unlawful pauses have proceeded, the rate of illegal crossings has surged, creating a crisis across our southern border, at times with tragic consequences.”
So far, a conclusion has not been released. Either way, the Biden administration continues to create a horrible mess at our border. It is clear that President Biden acts as an agent of illegal aliens, not a representative of the American people.