The Biden administration plans to construct several more miles of border barriers along the Rio Grande River in Texas, one of the busiest spots for migrants coming from Mexico.
(Bloomberg) — The Biden administration plans to construct several more miles of border barriers along the Rio Grande River in Texas, one of the busiest spots for migrants coming from Mexico.
In a public notice filed Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said it would waive environmental and tribal land protections to speed construction of the wall due to an “acute and immediate need.”
The Border Patrol encountered more than 245,000 people attempting to cross the border in the area during the 2023 fiscal year, according to the notice.
President Joe Biden said during his 2020 campaign that he would focus on border security at ports of entry and mocked Donald Trump’s attempts to build a border wall as ineffectual, saying “there will not be another foot of wall constructed” if he were elected.
The determination — which DHS said was “necessary” under current law — comes as Republican lawmakers are demanding border security measures as a condition of funding the government.
Some Democrats, including New York Mayor Eric Adams and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, have said the influx of migrants and asylum-seekers is overwhelming their resources.
House Republicans nearly shut down the government last weekend over hardliners’ border security demands — leading to the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy when he avoided the funding lapse by passing a 45-day extension with the support of the chamber’s Democrats.
Read more: McCarthy’s Ouster Raises Likelihood of a Government Shutdown
Representative Jim Jordan, one of two declared candidates to replace McCarthy, said Thursday on Fox News that his top priority would be passing legislation barring any new migrants from being released into the US.
Trump, who holds a commanding lead in the Republican primary, has said he would seek to complete the border wall if he’s re-elected, along with extending floating barriers put in the Rio Grande by the state of Texas. He’s also proposed dramatic cuts to immigration and more rapid deportations.
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