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The Biden administration is considering a return to the type of southern border wall construction that had been the norm under former President Donald Trump, in order to fill in “gaps” made all the more glaring by the sudden immigration crisis, according to a report.
Speaking to Immigration and Customs Enforcement staffers last week, according to notes from the meeting reviewed by the Washington Times, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Customs and Border Protection had submitted a plan to his department on what it wanted to see moving forward.
“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,” the DHS secretary reportedly told the group.
“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.”
Some of that, Mayorkas said, would include “gaps,” “gates” and areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented.”
Discussing the plan submitted by CBP, Mayorkas told those in the meeting, “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.”
A Homeland Security spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Asked about the report during Tuesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied, “Wall construction remains paused to the extent permitted by law, so some has already been funded through congressional authorization.
“When the administration took office funds had been diverted from congressionally appropriated military construction projects and other appropriated purposes toward building the wall. Federal agencies are continuing to review wall contracts and develop a plan to submit to the president soon. It is paused. There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for but it is otherwise paused.”
The Biden administration’s undoing of Trump’s border policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican illegal migrants at the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.
Central Americans looking for refuge from the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — have taken these policy moves, as well as the overwhelmingly more welcoming tone from Democrats, as a sign that this president is inviting them to cross the border.
Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Mayorkas said in early March that the problems the agency faced should be blamed on the previous administration.
The data, however, overwhelmingly shows that migrants were flooding the border because they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.
Late last month, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the new president for the crisis, arguing that the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they would be let into the US.
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