WASHINTON – Joe Biden is considering restarting construction of Donald Trump’s border wall as his administration continues to grapple with a growing immigration crisis that includes a record number of illegal crossings.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told employees, according to the Washington Times, that construction could resume to plug “gaps” in the current barrier between the United States and Mexico.
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The move comes as Biden put on a big show on the first day of his administration by issuing an executive order freezing Defense Department funds for the construction of the border wall.
It later officially ended the emergency order at the border, but there were concerns about where the funds that were already allocated for the border wall project would go.
Now the Biden administration faces a record number of migrants arriving at the southern border every day and federal government detention facilities are “over the top,” according to an independent report concluded after a site visit.
NASA and other federal agencies are said to have emailed their employees asking if they were willing to volunteer at the overcrowded facilities for migrant children.
Joe Biden at press conference. Photo: EFE
Mayorkas told Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees during a meeting last week that Biden’s cancellation of the wall’s construction left ‘room for decision’ to finish “cover the gaps in the fence.”
CBP mobilizes more than 300 agents from the north and coast to the border with Mexico
The Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) is reassigning more than 300 of its agents, mainly from the northern and coastal sectors of the country, to the border with Mexico, where the flow of migrants who try to reach the United States, both families and children alone.
The agency did not tell Efe the specific number of agents they are reassigning because “due to the sensitivity of law enforcement agencies,” they cannot share specific numbers, percentages or locations.
However, he confirmed that “we will have more than 300 agents deployed mainly from the northern and coastal sectors.”
Temporarily reassigned officers include CBP members in Houlton, a city in Aroostook County, Maine, on the US-Canada border.
“Due to fluctuations along the southwestern border, the Houlton sector has deployed additional Border Patrol agents in the southwestern border (SWB) area of operations,” a spokesman for the federal agency told Efe.
He also noted in written statements that the CBP seeks with this mobilization “to deter and interrupt” human trafficking activities by transnational criminal organizations “and to guarantee that our personnel are properly equipped to maintain border security.”
According to the Maine Bangor Daily News, which attributes the information to a CBP officer who preferred anonymity for fear of losing his job, these agents will join more than 16,000 agents already on the southern border.
He also told the newspaper that the agents will spend a month in this operation, although they could stay longer if required.
The agent expressed concern about the possible implications that the operation will have for the health of the agents reassigned to the southern border.
“A significant number of agents are being exposed to the coronavirus. There is really no other option. As the nurses who take care of the patients, we have to take care of the people who arrive at the border, “he said, according to the newspaper.
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