President Biden Pauses Construction of Border Wall

Just days after taking office, U. S. President Joe Biden ended the national emergency declared by Proclamation 9844, and continued on February 13, 2020 (85 Fed. Reg. 8715) that prescribed building the border wall between the U. S. and Mexico. Biden said the Trump emergency declaration was unwarranted and therefore stopped construction of the wall.

President Biden’s declaration began with the following:

“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats.  But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.  It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.  My Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our Nation’s values.  In furtherance of that commitment, I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border in Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States), was unwarranted.  It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall.  I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall.” 

The declaration also calls for an assessment of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall and pauses, with immediate effect, the obligation of funds related to construction of the southern border wall, to the extent permitted by law, among other things.

So far it is unclear what, if anything, will be done with the National Guard troops deployed at the border to perform vehicle maintenance, monitor surveillance cameras and provide aviation support. Those troops have been there for more than two years and were planned to remain there through September 2021.