Mayorkas says Biden administration stance against border wall ‘remains our position’ and ‘has never wavered’
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed back Thursday on reports that the Biden administration’s acceleration of wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border was a shift in its policies and stance on the wall.
“I want to address today’s reporting relating to a border wall and be absolutely clear. There is no new Administration policy with respect to border walls,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “From day one, this Administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer. That remains our position and our position has never wavered. The language in the Federal Register notice is being taken out of context and it does not signify any change in policy whatsoever.”
The Biden administration announced earlier Thursday that it would waive 26 federal restrictions and fast-track the construction of border wall in Texas.
Republicans and Democrats alike criticized the decision following the announcement. Biden said legal restrictions forced his administration to use already-allocated funds on a border wall, which Mayorkas repeated.
“We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money but it has not done so and we are compelled to follow the law,” Mayorkas said. “This Administration believes that effective border security requires a smarter and more comprehensive approach, including state-of the-art border surveillance technology and modernized ports of entry. We need Congress to give us the funds to implement these proven tools.”
In the announcement earlier Thursday, Mayorkas said the new border wall was needed.
“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas,” he said.
The U.S. Border Patrol saw more than 245,000 people in the last fiscal year try to enter the United States in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, the Department of Homeland Security said, citing data from August.