The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has announced a decision to waive several federal laws to expedite the construction of the border wall in Starr County, Texas. This region has become a significant hotspot for illegal crossings, prompting the Biden administration to act swiftly. [Source]
Amid a surge in illegal migration, with over 245,000 migrant encounters recorded in the Rio Grande Valley Sector this year, Secretary Mayorkas acknowledged the “acute and immediate need” to waive these laws. This includes significant statutes like the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
This decision is in sharp contrast to early 2021 when the Biden administration publicly halted new border wall construction. They had stated that wall construction under the Trump administration was “just one example of the prior Administration’s misplaced priorities.”
In 2020, Joe Biden assured voters he would not continue the southern border wall project initiated by former President Donald Trump. He clearly stated, “There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration!” [Source]
However, the current situation appears to have encouraged a more measured stance on border security. On Thursday, Mayorkas announced an urgent need to construct over 20 miles of border wall in Texas.
Not long after this announcement, former President Donald Trump responded, seizing the opportunity to critique his successor’s stance on border security. [Source]
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, Trump suggested that the Biden administration is finally recognizing the urgency of the situation. He remarked, “Biden sees our country is being invaded,” voicing concerns about potential threats already within the nation’s borders.
Highlighting the increase in arrests of individuals on the FBI’s terror watchlist at the southern border, Trump pointed out the rising numbers as a reason for concern. This year, the number of such arrests reached a record with 151 arrests in FY 2023, a notable increase from previous years.
Trump lamented, “What has happened to our country?” urging the Biden administration to revert to his policies. He underscored the value of his policies like “Remain in Mexico” and “Title 42” that he believes made the nation’s borders more secure.
This DHS decision appears to align with Trump’s earlier actions. During his presidency, Trump spearheaded the construction of close to 500 miles of the border wall. His campaign spokesperson responded, saying, “President Trump is always right.” They added, “Instead, Crooked Joe Biden turned our country into one giant sanctuary for dangerous criminal aliens.”
With President Joe Biden’s approval rating on immigration plummeting to 33.6%, as reported by RealClearPolitics, there’s a clear imperative to address the border situation more effectively.
Is the administration adopting a more strategic approach to the border crisis, or is this merely an attempt to improve Biden’s standing in the polls? Only time will tell.