President Biden’s administration is facing criticism for continuing construction on sections of the border wall to address the increasing number of migrant crossings from Mexico. This decision goes against Biden’s previous pledge not to use taxpayer dollars for the wall and to review allocated resources. However, the administration argues that it is necessary to use the funds allocated during Trump’s presidency.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas clarified that the construction project is mandated by law and not a new policy by the Biden administration. Mayorkas also stated that the administration has repeatedly asked Congress to rescind the money but has received no response.
Former President Trump claimed victory and demanded an apology, highlighting his belief in the effectiveness of border walls. However, Mexico’s President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, criticized the move as a step backward.
Immigration is expected to be a prominent issue in the 2024 presidential race, with a majority of Americans agreeing that immigration makes life harder for native-born Americans. The decision to proceed with border barriers may invite criticism from the left-leaning base of the Biden administration, including immigration advocates and environmentalists.
The Department of Homeland Security has stated the need to waive certain laws and regulations to construct barriers in Starr County, Texas, where a significant number of people have crossed the border. Environmentalists have expressed concern about the destruction of important habitat in this area.
The Biden administration has faced challenges in dealing with the record number of migrant crossings, which has strained U.S. cities along the border and led to the resumption of deportation flights to Venezuela. The administration inherited a broken immigration system and has taken a different approach, including increasing legal pathways for migrants and investing in border security technology.
Migrant numbers initially decreased after the implementation of a new rule requiring appointments on a government-run smartphone app at legal ports of entry or stricter asylum rules for those crossing the border illegally. However, in recent weeks, the numbers have started to rise again, partly due to migrants from Venezuela.
The increase in migrants has led to the release of asylum seekers into the country, further burdening an immigration court system with over 2 million pending cases. Republican governors near the border have transported arriving migrants to Democratically controlled cities, sparking criticism from both Democratic leaders in those cities and some Republicans who believe Biden is not doing enough to address the crossings.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams embarked on a trip to Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador to inform potential migrants that the city cannot accommodate them due to overwhelmed shelter systems.
It’s important to note that there are around 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., many of whom have lived and worked in the country for years or decades. Biden’s attempts to pass comprehensive immigration reform in Congress have been obstructed by Republican opposition.
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