The Department of Homeland Security is pulling the plug on contracts to erect a border wall in the embattled Rio Grande Valley — even as migrants from around the world continue to pour into the US from Mexico in unprecedented numbers.
The agency “intends to cancel the remaining border barrier contracts located within US Border Patrol’s (USBP) Laredo Sector and all border barrier contracts located in the Rio Grande Valley Sector,” it announced Friday.
The unspent cash that Congress allocated for wall construction will be spent on environmental projects — including “biological, cultural, and natural resource surveys” in the border region — instead, according to the statement.
The announcement came only a week after DHS said it was bracing for up to 400,000 border apprehensions this month alone.
Republicans roundly ripped the move.
“Leave it to Biden and his team to cancel border contracts for ‘environmental reasons’ when we have a 21-year high of illegal crossers,” Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford tweeted. “It is obvious that they do not want to stop illegal immigration.”
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw called out DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the decision.
“DHS Secretary Mayorkas, during a border crisis, is cancelling border wall contracts,” Crenshaw posted on Twitter. “Impeach Mayorkas.”
Roughly 20,000 asylum seekers from Haiti and elsewhere are reportedly waiting in Colombia to begin a fresh surge to the US border — weeks after 30,000 Haitians camped in squalid conditions beneath the International Bridge in Del Rio, Tex. before most were allowed entry.
In July, Senate Republicans revealed that the Biden administration had spent billions for border-wall contractors “to watch steel rust in the desert” after suspending the construction projects that had been a key element of President Donald Trump’s tough immigration policy.