Joe Biden continues to build Trump’s wall: "I can’t stop this"

During the election campaign, Joe Biden promised not to expand the border wall with Mexico that was so praised by his predecessor Donald Trump. Now his government is doing it – a law is forcing them to do so. Criticism comes from all sides.

It is a turnaround before the US election campaign that is causing a lot of criticism. US President Joe Biden had actually promised not to continue building the controversial border wall with Mexico. Now it’s continuing to be built – and Biden defended his government’s approval. The money for this was approved under his predecessor Donald Trump, the White House announced on Thursday (local time).

Biden told reporters that he tried in vain to convince Congress to reallocate the funds for other purposes. “I can’t stop it,” he added. When asked whether he believed that border walls would work against irregular migration, he replied with a curt “no.” Trump responded to the announcement with derision.

The expansion involves an approximately 32 kilometer long section in Starr County in the state of Texas. The work in the Rio Grande Valley region was approved under Trump in 2019 and, by law, must be completed by the end of this year, the government said.

Department of Homeland Security sees “acute need” for a barrier

However, in an announcement in the US Official Gazette, the Department of Homeland Security justified the expansion on Wednesday with the current rush of migrants to the US southern border. By August, around 245,000 irregular border crossings had been registered in this area. Tens of thousands of people attempt to enter the United States illegally every month. Dissatisfaction with this is growing in the USA, and transit countries like Costa Rica are also increasingly overwhelmed.

There is an “acute and immediate need” for physical barriers, it said. For this reason, several federal laws relating to environmental impact testing, for example, are being ignored. Mexico is on the route of people trying to come to the USA, primarily from Central and South America. They are fleeing poverty, violence and political crises in their countries.

Trump mocks Joe Biden

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Thursday that the decision did not mean a reversal in Biden’s policies: “From day one, this administration has made clear that a border wall is not the solution.” Trump, however, used the announcement to mock Biden’s policies. On his Truth Social platform, he called on him to apologize to himself and the country. “I will wait for his apology,” the former president wrote.

At the time, Trump announced that he would build a “beautiful wall” on the 3,200-kilometer-long southern border with Mexico to keep out undocumented immigrants and criminals. Biden’s Democrats accused him of pursuing an inhumane policy of isolation.

The civil rights organization ACLU criticized the expansion of the border wall as a “serious mistake.” She recalled that Biden had rejected the wall during the election campaign as a non-serious policy and promised not to pursue it. “Instead of delivering on that promise, the Biden administration is now relying on failed policies of the past that have proven wasteful and ineffective,” it said in a statement.

Deportations of Venezuelans resume

The US government also announced on Thursday that it would resume deportations of migrants to Venezuela. The deportation flights should begin immediately. This affects people who have crossed the border to the USA irregularly. Venezuela has been in a serious crisis for years. According to the UN, millions of people have left the South American country in recent years because of poverty and violence.

Just a few weeks ago, Biden granted temporary protective status in the United States to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans already in the country. Among other things, this gives them the opportunity to work.