Construction on the wall sections in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors will be halted, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday in a press release.
Soon after assuming office, President Biden suspended building along the wall while it underwent internal review. The Biden administration then cancelled two contracts that covered approximately 31 miles of territory along the southern border in Texas. Friday’s development is the latest of Biden’s reversals and overhauls to Trump’s immigration policy, the hallmark of which was erecting an expansive high barrier as a deterrent mechanism to migrants.
DHS added that it would conduct an environmental assessment of border barrier “system projects” in the release, specifying that those “activities will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition.”
The decision from DHS comes amid record migrant apprehensions at the border. Last month, a caravan of nearly 30,000 Haitian migrants crossed over into the United States, overwhelming border personnel in Del Rio, Texas. Nearly 12,000 of those illegal immigrants were released into the interior to have their asylum cases adjudicated at a later date, Mayorkas confirmed, despite Biden’s administration’s assurances that there would not be mass migrants admission into the U.S.
Prominent Republican lawmakers condemned the cancellations Friday as a counterproductive and irresponsible move.
“DHS Secretary Mayorkas, during a border crisis, is cancelling border wall contracts. Impeach Mayorkas,” Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas wrote on Twitter.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas, during a border crisis, is cancelling border wall contracts.
Impeach Mayorkas. pic.twitter.com/YsdsnMMQHi
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) October 8, 2021
“Canceling construction of the border wall isn’t going to solve the Biden Border Crisis,” Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Ark.) wrote.