(USA Features) The administration is considering building new sections of border wall to close “gaps” after President Joe Biden halted construction his first day in office in January.
In a discussion with Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas indicated new construction was being considered among other suggestions made by the agency amid historic migrant surges, especially unaccompanied minors, at the U.S. southwest border.
“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,” Mayorkas told ICE staffers, according to materials reviewed by the Washington Times.
“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 reportedly also added that those areas include “gaps,” “gates,” and areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”
The Times went on to note that no one from CBP commented for the story.
Last month, Republicans who visited the border and witnessed gross overcrowding of detention facilities were critical of the administration’s Trump-era policy reversals.
“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.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell added that Biden “owns” the border crisis. “It is, by definition, an emergency,” he said.
“The previous administration did an excellent job on border security; this administration is stopping funding for the wall, as an example. How is that helpful?” he asked.
“Stopping the agreement with the Mexican government to contain people on the other side of the border? How is that helpful? This is a crisis. I don’t care what the Secretary of Homeland Security wants to call it; it’s a crisis.”