Biden Stops Mexican Border Wall Construction

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump participates in a ceremony commemorating the 200th mile of border wall at the international border with Mexico in San Luis, Arizona, June 23, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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President Biden has rescinded the emergency order used by former President Trump to justify construction of the border wall, the White House announced Thursday.

“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” Biden wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”

The nail in the coffin: The proclamation is a final step from Biden after issuing an executive order on day one of his presidency questioning the validity of Trump’s national emergency and ordering a pause on all border wall construction.

It also comes after the administration asked the Supreme Court to cancel an upcoming hearing on the legality of the border wall, which the court then granted.

The background: Trump issued the national emergency at the border in early 2019 after repeatedly butting heads with lawmakers over funding for the project. The emergency declaration loosened the limits on taxpayer funding, paving the way for Trump to divert funds originally intended for other agencies, including the Defense Department.

But the move landed his administration in court, as environmental groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged $2.5 billion in Pentagon spending that had been diverted to complete construction.

Trump first floated the idea of a border wall on the campaign trail, repeatedly insisting that Mexico would pay for its construction. But in early 2020, Customs and Border Protection reported it had found $11 billion in funding for the wall.

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