President Joe Biden’s administration said it would add sections to a border wall to stave off record migrant crossings from Mexico, a move immigration experts said was not a reversal of his administration’s anti-wall policy — as it may have appeared.
In a notice published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Biden’s Department of Homeland Security said it needed to waive a number of laws, regulations and other legal requirements to construct barriers in Starr County, Texas. The administration said Thursday’s action did not break Biden’s previous pledge not to build more border walls, because the money that was allocated during Trump’s term in 2019 had to be spent now.
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican Party nomination, made building border walls a central tenet of his first campaign for president with the rally chant, “Build That Wall.” Trump, however, was quick to claim victory and demand an apology. “As I have stated often, over thousands of years, there are only two things that have consistently worked, wheels, and walls!”, Trump wrote on social media.
Around 11 million immigrants are in the U.S. without legal documentation, says the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute. Many have lived and worked in the country for years or decades.