President Joe Biden’s Department of Defense announced it has cancelled all border wall construction as directed by the president’s Executive Order issued on his first day in office, according to a statement from the Pentagon Friday.
“Consistent with the President’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” said Jamal Brown, Deputy Pentagon Spokesman. “DoD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners. Today’s action reflects this Administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”
The statement went on to say that “unobligated military construction funds that had been diverted from military construction projects will be used for previously deferred military construction projects, allowing some of these critical efforts to move forward as soon as possible,” but the department has yet to determine which projects will take priority.
While all construction projects have been canceled, funding for the border wall remains frozen after GOP lawmakers accused Biden of breaking the law by stopping border wall construction and pausing funding.
Congress’ investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), is investigating the claim and an opinion from the GAO is expected as early as May, Roll Call reported.
The announcement comes roughly two weeks after over 200 sheriffs from dozens of states called on Mr. Biden to finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall amid an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration at the United States-Mexico border.
In an April 7 letter signed by 275 sheriffs from 39 states, law enforcement warned about the “dangerous impacts” of the Biden administration’s border policies that are allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrants to cross into the U.S. illegally, overwhelming U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which apprehended a record 172,331 illegal immigrants in March alone.
On January 20, President Biden issued the executive order redirecting funds from the border way to other Department of Defense projects.
“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats. But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution,” Biden wrote in the order. “It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”