Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas essentially admitted in a conversation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement staffers last week that former President Donald Trump’s border wall is effective.
And as such, construction may need to be restarted, at least in certain places, so “gaps” can be filled.
The comments, reported by the Washington Times, are the first indication that anyone associated with Joe Biden’s immigration policies knows that ‘mistakes were made.’
The Times reported:
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told department employees he may restart border wall construction to plug what he called “gaps” in the current barrier.
In a conversation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees last week Mr. Mayorkas was asked about his plans for the wall and he said that while President Biden has canceled the border emergency and halted Pentagon money flowing to the wall, “that leaves room to make decisions” on finishing some “gaps in the wall.”
Mr. Mayorkas, according to notes of the ICE session reviewed by The Washington Times, said Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the wall, has submitted a plan for what it wants to see happen moving forward.
“It’s not a single answer to a single question. There are different projects that the chief of the Border Patrol has presented and the acting commissioner of CBP presented to me,” the secretary said.
“The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of DOD funds to the construction of the border wall is ended. But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished,” he said.
Mayorkas went on to say that areas under consideration for new wall include “gaps,” “gates,” and areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”
The surprising turnaround comes after Biden, on his first day in office, signed an executive order ending wall construction in its tracks after nearly 470 miles were built by Trump.
The General Accounting Office is currently investigating Biden’s order to see whether it violated any budget laws since at least $5.5 billion of the $15.5 billion earmarked for 738 miles of border wall was approved by Congress.
In January, before the Trump administration left office, Customs and Border Protection officials announced that an additional 300 miles of wall construction was being approved, with most of it already under contract.
The change of heart also comes as the Biden administration continues to struggle with a massive influx of migrant families and children. According to the Daily Mail, a record 19,000 unaccompanied minors arrived at the southwest border in March.
Republicans have blistered the White House for reversing nearly all of Trump’s border enforcement policies, which were largely seen as highly effective.
“Mr. President, our border patrol agents are overwhelmed, and they deserve the help of their federal government. I am calling on you to put politics aside. Let’s work together for the security of our nation and the betterment of our people,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last month after visiting the border.