Construction on the wall at the southern border will resume under the Biden administration as the immigration crisis continues.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers will begin repairing a levee in the Rio Grande Valley that stretches for more than 13 miles.
Repairs are expected to begin in six weeks in order to prevent flooding. A concrete levee wall with safety barriers is also set to be added later this year or early next year.
To be clear, wall construction remains paused to extent permitted by law. Per DHS, we’ve started critical work to repair the Rio Grande Valley’s flood levee, which was excavated to make way for border wall. This remediation work will not involve expanding border barrier.
— USACE HQ (@USACEHQ) May 13, 2021
The USACE said that the wall will only feature repairs to the Rio Grande flood levee and that it would not be expanded anytime soon.
“[W]all construction remains paused to extent permitted by law. Per DHS, we’ve started critical work to repair the Rio Grande Valley’s flood levee, which was excavated to make way for border wall. This remediation work will not involve expanding border barrier,” the USACE tweeted.
The Department of Homeland Security blamed the Trump administration for the need to make repairs to the wall, noting “extensive problems” with it.
DHS said in a statement that border wall repairs will “protect border communities from physical dangers resulting from the previous administration’s approach to border wall construction.”
“Construction under the prior administration blew large holes into the Rio Grande Valley’s flood barrier system to make way for a border wall. The flood barrier system had long provided low-lying regions of Hidalgo County, Texas, protection from catastrophic flooding, and these breaches have threatened local communities,” the statement read.
“DHS will start work to quickly repair the flood barrier system to protect border communities. This work will not involve expanding the border barrier,” the statement continued.
The department said that a plan that “identifies additional measures to address the damage” done by the Trump administration will be implemented soon.
Among President Joe Biden’s first executive orders upon taking office was to immediately stop all border wall construction, along with undoing several other immigration policies signed by former President Donald Trump.
As a result of reversing these Trump policies on immigration, the crisis at the border has gotten increasingly worse. Illegal border crossing numbers have skyrocketed and facilities holding migrant numbers beyond their capacity have threatened public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Customs and Border Protection reported there to be 178,622 migrant encounters in April, the highest total in a single month in 20 years.
“They keep telling us that the border is under control and I simply do not understand how with a 392 percent increase this fiscal year alone,” Democratic Mayor Bruno Lozano of Del Rio, Texas, said Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”
“Last year, we had 19,724 captures at this point. And right now we’re at 97,398. I simply do not understand how that’s under control.”
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