President Joe Biden on Wednesday reported the issuance of his proclamation to terminate the national emergency at the Southern border.
Biden informed Congress in a letter on Wednesday of his January decision to terminate Proclamation 9844, in which former President Donald Trump declared the national emergency at the Southern border in February of 2019.
“Consistent with section 202(a) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622, I hereby report that I have issued a proclamation that terminates the national emergency first declared in Proclamation 9844 of February 15, 2019 (Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States),” he wrote in his letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and president of the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted. I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”
From using the Defense Production Act to contain COVID-19 to taking action to reunite families separated at the border — it was another busy week. pic.twitter.com/Z4DYMvWUvQ
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 7, 2021
“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution,” Biden said in his January proclamation.
“It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
Trump used his national emergency proclamation to divert billions of dollars to build the border wall, Axios reported.
As of the beginning of January, U.S. Customs and Border Protection completed 452 miles of the border wall, according to KHOU-TV.
The Biden administration ordered federal contractors building the 18- to 30-foot-tall portion of the steel wall across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to stop construction at the end of January.
“This morning, as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I received notification that in accordance with President Biden’s executive order, all CBP contractors have now been formally notified by CBP Procurement to pause construction activities on CBP self-executed projects,” Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas said in a statement on Jan. 25.
“This is a promising step in our work to halt construction of the ineffective and wasteful border wall and undo the damage that borderlands have experienced these past four years.”
“However, our work continues. I remain steadfast in my commitment to working with the new administration until every border wall contract is terminated and all construction crews leave our border communities,” Cuellar added.
Construction on the wall is paused for now, as the Biden administration assesses the “legality of the funding and contracting methods” and the consequences of stopping construction altogether, according to Biden’s proclamation.
“After the plan is developed, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all appropriate steps to resume, modify, or terminate projects and to otherwise implement the plan,” the proclamation said.
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