On Thursday, the White House announced that President Biden had nullified Trump’s emergency order used to drive forward construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.
Writing in “A Letter to the Speaker Of The House And President Of The Senate Regarding the Termination of the National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border,” Biden stated, “I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted.”
“I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end,” the letter continued.
As reported by The Hill, this comes as a “final step” after Biden issued an executive order on the first day of his administration, titled “Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction,” which described the border wall as “not a serious policy solution,” and “a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
The order declared that Trump’s declaration of a national emergency was “unwarranted,” and that it “shall be the policy of [Biden’s] Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.” Most notably, the order directed the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to “pause work on each construction project on the southern border wall.”
Promises of a border wall between the United States and Mexico featured heavily in Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. After struggling to make progress with the legislature, Trump issued a national emergency at the border, which began, “The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency.”
The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch’s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years. In particular, recent years have seen sharp increases in the number of family units entering and seeking entry to the United States and an inability to provide detention space for many of these aliens while their removal proceedings are pending. If not detained, such aliens are often released into the country and are often difficult to remove from the United States because they fail to appear for hearings, do not comply with orders of removal, or are otherwise difficult to locate.
Since Trump’s declaration in 2019, Democrats have rejected the existence of any such “emergency,” “despite the hundreds of thousands of people who are apprehended every year illegally trying to enter the U.S. on the southern border.”
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