Biden Announces ‘Immediate’ End To Trump’s Border Wall Project
Construction of Trump’s border wall between Mexico and the United States will end ‘immediately’ following Biden’s inauguration; the President-elect set to sign an executive order halting the project as one of his first actions in office.
A fact sheet published by the Biden transition team confirmed that action to end construction of the so-called ‘Trump wall’ would be among 17 executive orders expected to be signed by Joe Biden within hours of him taking the oath of office today, January 20.
The executive order is described as implementing an ‘immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used’.
President Trump’s controversial border wall project was one of his central campaign pledges made during the 2016 election, with Trump officially signing an executive order directing the US government to use federal funds to expand the existing wall during his first week in office in 2017. Trump had said he would build approximately 500 miles of wall along the southern border; however, according to CNN only 47 miles of the wall went up where there were no existing barriers.
Over the course of his four year term Trump diverted millions of dollars of funds from various government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, leading to criticism that the president was prioritising the wall over spending on national security and natural disaster responses. In 2018, a month-long government shutdown – the longest in US history – was caused by Trump’s refusal to approve a congressional budget that did not allocate funds for the border wall.
Biden’s executive order is expected to freeze around $1.4 billion in funds currently set aside for the wall by Congress, with the President-elect having promised during his campaign that ‘there will not be another foot of wall constructed’ under his administration.
Putting an end to construction of the border wall is one of several campaign pledges Biden is set to make good on during his first 24 hours in officer. Other executive orders announced by his transition team include the reversal of the so-called Muslim ban, rejoining the Paris Agreement, and a Presidential Memorandum reinforcing protections afforded to Dreamers and the reintroduction of Obama-era climate change policies.
In his final official visit as president, Trump travelled to a section of the border in Alamo, Texas last week, where he unveiled and signed a plaque featuring his name embedded in the wall.
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