The Biden administration has cleared a path to construct more border wall in Texas on federally protected land amid a surge in illegal immigration, according to an unpublished Wednesday federal register filing.
The construction will be done in the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas, where federal authorities have recorded 245,000 illegal migrant encounters in fiscal year 2023, according to the filing, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will officially publish Thursday. Much of the construction will take place on the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. (RELATED: Dem Mayor To Travel To Latin America To Discourage Migrants From Coming To His Sanctuary City)
“The United States Border Patrol’s (Border Patrol) Rio Grande Valley Sector is an area of ‘high illegal entry,'” the filing states.
“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas pursuant to sections 102(a) and 102(b) of IIRIRA. In order to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads in the project areas, I have
determined that it is necessary that I exercise the authority that is vested in me by section 102(c) of IIRIRA,” the filing states.
The Biden administration has also been working to fill the gaps in the southern border wall in Yuma, Arizona, while also quietly “disposing” of the Trump administration’s border wall materials to be auctioned off.
“Everything to complete the wall was already in place on the ground and purchased and now they have gone out and redesigned the enclosures for the gaps. This is an example of government waste at its finest,” Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines told the DCNF in August.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has said it’s “stopping the flow” of illegal immigration at the southern border.
“If anything, what the president has been able to do on his own, without the help of Republicans in Congress, something that he had to do on his own again, because Republicans refuse to give the funding necessary to deal with the situation, a broken immigration system that has been broken for decades […],” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Aug. 30.
DHS’ latest action is consistent with earlier actions taken by Congress and the Biden administration, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesperson said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“DHS Secretary Mayorkas issued an IIRIRA waiver for a barrier project previously announced in June, which will be constructed on approximately 17 miles in Starr County, Texas. Congress appropriated fiscal year 2019 funds for the construction of border barrier in the Rio Grande Valley, and DHS is required to use those funds for their appropriated purpose,” the spokesperson said.
“This project is consistent with DHS’s plan to fulfill the requirements of President Biden’s Proclamation (Proclamation No. 10142, 86 Fed. Reg. 7225 (Jan. 20, 2021)), which ended the diversion of funds for border wall from military projects or other sources while calling for the expenditure of any funds Congress appropriated for barrier construction consistent with their appropriated purpose. CBP remains committed to protecting the nation’s cultural and natural resources and will implement sound environmental practices as part of the project covered by this waiver,” the spokesperson added.
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