Bethany Blankley (The Center Square).
North Carolina Congressman John Bolton has proposed a bill that would require the federal government restart building the wall at the border. This was stopped by President Joe Biden.
U.S. Rep. Ted Budd, R-NC, introduced the Build the Wall Now ActIt removes any legal obstacles to the construction of the wall. Among other things, it unlocks an additional $2.1 billion that was appropriated in fiscal years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 that weren’t spent.
Congress allocated $6 billion for the wall’s construction between fiscal years 2018 and 2021, according to the General Accounting Office.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued the administration last fall, asking the court to require the administration to resume building the wall using funds already appropriated by Congress.
Within a month of the AGs’ lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was using the money on environmental and cleanup projects in certain areas of Arizona, California and Texas. Funds would be used to “address life, safety, environmental, and remediation requirements for border barrier projects” in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio Border Patrol sectors.
RELATED: Florida Congressman Files Bill To Give States Ability To Enforce Immigration Laws When Federal Government Won’t
As the AGs’ lawsuit makes its way through court and as border communities brace for an estimated roughly 18,000 people expected to come through the southern border after Title 42 is repealed next month, Budd said, “The best way to end the Biden Border Crisis is to finish the border wall now.”
“The Biden administration is trying to run out the regulatory clock on wall construction while undermining our border patrol officers by repealing Title 42,” he said in a statement. “Every time I visit the southern border, law enforcement agents tell me how Biden’s open border policy is endangering our national security and the safety of the entire interior of our country.”
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Title 42 allows Customs and Border Protection to deport and process illegal immigrants quickly in a time of public health emergency. This was utilized by Trump to reduce the spread and severity of the coronavirus. Biden announced that it would end it on May 23.
As long as Democrats hold a majority in Congress and Biden remains president, the bill isn’t expected to become law. But it’s an example of Republicans increasingly frustrated with the administration’s open border policies filing legislation in Congress as immigration lawsuits remain tied up in courts.
Even while Title 42 was being used, in Biden’s first year in office, roughly two million people from over 150 countries were apprehended or encountered by CBP agents entering the U.S. illegally. The number does not reflect the hundreds of thousand people who may have tried to evade law enforcement.
All funding for the border wall was suspended on Biden’s first day in office. Due to contractual obligations to the contractor that built it, taxpayers pay $3 million per day.
The administration has claimed it “inherited a broken immigration system – one that wasted billions of taxpayer dollars and neither kept the American people safe nor adhered to our values” and that constructing a border wall was a “misplaced priority.”
RELATED : Border Wall Construction Stopped Officially by Biden Executive Order
Of the 450 miles of the wall built by the Trump administration, only 52 miles was constructed “where no barrier previously existed, with some wall segments costing American taxpayers up to $46 million per mile,” the administration said.
Schmitt and Paxton argue that the wall works as a deterrent. They also claim that halting construction would violate the Separation of Powers and the Take Care Clause.
Additionally, DHS “has admitted that a physical border wall is an effective defense in curtailing illegal immigration,” they argue. In their brief, they point to a 2018 DHS assessment of the effectiveness of physical barriers, which states, “Walls Work. When it comes to stopping drugs and illegal aliens from crossing our borders, walls have proven extremely effective.” DHS noted that a border wall in one sector alone led to a 90% decrease in border apprehensions.
Texas governor Greg Abbott has begun to build a border wall on Texas soil, even though the federal wall is not completed. Greg Abbott started building a Texas border wall.
“Texas is taking what truly is unprecedented action by any state ever,” Abbott in December when a section of the wall was erected in Rio Grande City. Texas was building a wall “on our border to secure the sovereignty of the United States as well as our own state,” he said. “And this unprecedented action is needed for one single reason, and that’s because the Biden administration has failed to do its job as required by law as passed by Congress to enforce the immigration laws of the United States of America.”
Real Clear Wire granted permission to syndicate.