President Joe Biden’s (D) administration announced on Friday that it is canceling multiple border wall contracts on the U.S.-Mexico border as the administration struggles to contain Biden’s border crisis.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the administration will “cancel the remaining border barrier contracts located within U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) Laredo Sector and all border barrier contracts located in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.”
The statement said:
CBP will then begin environmental planning and actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for previously planned border barrier system projects located within the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Centro Sectors.
Environmental planning activities will cover projects funded with DHS’s Fiscal Year 2018-2021 barrier system appropriations where construction had not started. These activities include additional biological, cultural, and natural resource surveys for project areas where no data have been previously collected. CBP will also conduct comprehensive and targeted outreach with interested stakeholders, including impacted landowners, tribes, state and local elected officials, and federal agencies. These activities will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition.
The Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border. Until and unless Congress cancels those funds, the law requires DHS to use the funds consistent with their appropriated purpose, and beginning environmental planning activities is part of the Department’s plan to do so.
The announcement comes as Rodney Scott, the former chief of the United States Border Patrol, spoke out against the Biden administration in a series of interviews with Fox News this week.
“We were supposed to do an in depth study and then come up with a plan going forward,” Scott said of what the Biden administration was supposed to do regarding the border wall. “Border Patrol did its part, everything, that was done within about two weeks. Several briefings later, there really had not been any decisions made, it went well beyond the 60 days. Many of those projects today are just still on hold. So we’re paying contractors, for a while it was almost $5 million a day between DOD and DHS.”
“There are stacks and stacks of border wall panels, there’s hundreds of miles of fiber optic cabling, there’s hundreds of cameras that were being installed with that, that are just sitting, there’s no action being taken,” Scott continued.
“So what do they say when the briefing is, ‘Well, this really helps us, if we could just plug this in, if we could just finish this thing,’ what did they say?” Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked.
“We’re not building more wall. There’s no conversation,” Scott responded. “There’s no adult dialogue, if you will. It’s just a black and white decision. The administration said we’re not doing it. So we’re not doing it. That money is just trickling away to those contractors for not doing work each day.”
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