Washington, D.C. – October 5, 2023
Former President Donald Trump, known for his strong stance on border security during his tenure, has reacted strongly to the Biden administration’s decision to resume border wall construction by waiving 26 federal laws. This move by the current administration, aimed at addressing the surge of illegal border crossings, has drawn sharp criticism from the former president, who has been a vocal advocate for stronger border enforcement.
Trump’s Demands an Apology
President Trump, who made the construction of a border wall at the southern U.S. border a central theme of his presidency, wasted no time in responding to the news. He took to social media to demand an apology from President Joe Biden for the delay in taking action on border security.
“Will Joe Biden apologize to me and America for taking so long to get moving, and allowing our country to be flooded with 15 million illegal immigrants, from places unknown? I will await his apology!” President Trump wrote on Truth Social, a platform he frequently uses to communicate with his supporters.
Biden Administration’s Move to Waive Federal Laws
The announcement of the waiver of 26 federal laws came from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. He cited a concerning statistic of 245,000 illegal immigrant crossings between ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley as of early August as the impetus behind the decision. The waived laws include various environmental and conservation regulations, such as the “Migratory Bird Treaty Act” and the “Farmland Protection Policy Act.”
Trump’s Response to the Border Wall Restart
President Trump responded to the news by highlighting the perceived irony in President Biden’s actions. He took to social media to express his views, stating, “So interesting to watch Crooked Joe Biden break every environmental law in the book to prove that I was right when I built 560 miles … of brand new, beautiful border wall. As I have stated often, over thousands of years, there are only two things that have consistently worked, wheels, and walls!”
Secretary Mayorkas emphasized the “acute and immediate need” to build walls and accompanying infrastructure at the southern border, leading to the fast-tracking of construction efforts. The waiver specifically outlines immediate construction activities in the Rio Grande Valley, identified as a “high illegal entry” zone.
Construction Areas and Details
The waiver allows for construction in multiple areas, including Falcon Dam, the Arroyo Morteros Tract, Las Ruinas Tract, Leos Road, North Redwoods Street, Los Velas Tract, Los Olmitos Road, Market Road, La Casita East Tract, Villareales Banco Tract, and the Cuevitas Tract within the “Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.” The construction will involve excavation, filling, and the installation of physical barriers, as well as supporting elements like drainage, lighting, and erosion controls.
Funding and Border Crossings
The funding for this construction will be sourced from an appropriation approved by Congress in 2019 for the border wall. The decision to restart construction comes in the wake of a growing number of illegal immigrant crossings at the southern border. While the waiver cites 245,000 crossings as of early August, it does not take into account the record-breaking figure of 260,000 illegal immigrant crossings in September alone. The situation at the border has raised significant concerns and challenges for the Biden administration.
Mexican President’s Warning and U.S.-Mexico Relations
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently warned that the United States could soon see 10,000 illegal immigrants arriving at the border daily. This warning came ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s planned visit to Mexico. President Obrador blamed the United States for fueling the migration crisis and criticized U.S. sanctions on countries like Cuba and Venezuela.
Secretary Blinken acknowledged the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, emphasizing its role as the largest trading partnership for the United States. He mentioned that discussions with Mexican officials would focus on addressing issues related to illegal immigration and the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico, which fuel the activities of drug cartels.
As the border situation continues to evolve, it remains a pressing concern for both the United States and its neighbors, with policy decisions and their consequences drawing significant attention and debate.