OAN’s James Meyers
8:28 AM – Thursday, October 5, 2023
With the ongoing border crisis the Biden administration is following the footsteps of the Trump administration.
On Wednesday, the White House announced it waived 26 federal laws to permit more border wall construction in southern Texas, marking the first move by the administration’s executive power to follow Donald Trump’s presidency.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made the announcement on the United States Federal Registry outlining the construction in Starr County, Texas, which is where Border Patrol agents are seeing “high illegal entry.”
“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,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the notice.
The Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and Safe Drinking Water Act were some of the federal laws waived by the DHS to allow construction at the southern border. The funds will be used from a congressional appropriation in 2019 for border wall construction.
Federal customs and border protection officials announced the project in June and began listening to public comments in August showing maps of additional construction up to 20 miles long. Starr county judge Eloy Vera said it will start south of the Falcon Dam and run past Salineno, Texas.
However, environmental advocates claim that the border construction will run through public lands, habitats of endangered plants and species.
“A plan to build a wall through will bulldoze an impermeable barrier straight through the heart of that habitat,” Laiken Jordahl, a south-west conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, said on Wednesday afternoon. “It will stop wildlife migrations dead in their tracks. It will destroy a huge amount of wildlife refuge land. And it’s a horrific step backwards for the borderlands.”
During the Trump administration, almost 450 miles of barriers were built along the south-west border between 2017 and January 2021. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas), renewed the construction after the Biden administration stopped it at the start of Joe Biden’s presidency.
The decision by the Biden administration contradicts their previous statement to end the construction of the border wall. On January 20, 2021 the Biden administration stated “building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.”
The latest announcement is causing an uproar from Democrats who oppose the move by the Biden administration.
“A border wall is a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century problem,” Texas congressman Henry Cuellar said in a statement. He added: “It will not bolster border security in Starr county.
“I continue to stand against the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on an ineffective border wall.”
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