Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had told Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees that he might resume border wall construction to finish some “gaps.”
On his first day in the office, President Joe Biden immediately stopped Pentagon money from going to the border, effectively halting the border wall construction. According to Mayorkas, “that leaves room to make decisions” on plugging some “gaps in the wall.”
As a senator, Biden had voted for 700 miles of border fencing to be constructed. As a part of the Obama administration, he had helped oversee the construction of more than a hundred of those miles. Yet now, as the president, Biden remains opposed to the border wall.
Reporters have turned to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for comments on this news. “What about the border? The DHS secretary is reportedly looking to finish some gaps in the southern border—how does that fit with President Biden’s day one executive order to stop border wall construction?”
“Wall construction remains paused to the extent permitted by law,” Psaki began. “Some has already been funded through congressional authorization and funding allocation. It’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the president on the management of the federal funds.”
The press secretary repeated herself, saying many times that the border wall construction “is paused.” She explained that “federal agencies are continuing to review all contracts and develop a plan to submit to the president soon.”
In short, she said, “There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused.”