Biden’s Border Construction Halt Costs Taxpayers Millions Per Day
To spend taxpayer dollars building a border wall is an easily defendable policy based on the future benefits it will yield. Spending taxpayer dollars to halt building a border wall on the other hand is just more pointless government waste.
And that’s the situation right now under Joe Biden.
In the last year of his presidency the Trump administration went into overdrive when it came to building the southern border, completing 450 miles of new border, with hundreds of miles of additional wall authorized to be built. On the day he took office, Biden ordered a “pause” on border wall construction, bringing it to a halt, and costing taxpayers millions per day.
According to Breitbart:
The pause on construction of the border wall costs taxpayers about six million dollars per day while construction sites sit idle, Breitbart Texas learned from a senior Department of Homeland Security official. On Sunday, March 21, the 60-day pause in construction of the border wall is scheduled to end.
According to the source, the expenditures are required for materials orders placed before the pause and expenses for the cost of equipment sitting idle. When the issuance of a stop work order causes a contractor to idle equipment, they are entitled to be compensated for rental expenses or costs of ownership.
Shortly after taking office, President Biden signed an executive order temporarily halting any further progress on the border wall so individual contracts could be evaluated. With the exception of “make-safe” activities at the worksites, construction projects immediately came to a standstill, Breitbart Texas reported. The end of the 60-day pause does not, however, signal an automatic restart of construction.
The Biden administration has not indicated which direction they will take regarding the end of the pause.
This comes as border apprehensions hit 15-year highs, and even Democrat border town mayors are sounding the alarm on the crisis. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has turned to blaming Trump – though they can’t seem to point to what Trump policy caused this. We’re apparently supposed to forget about all of Biden’s executive orders undoing Trump’s immigration legacy from his first days in office.
Some lawmakers in Texas are looking to finish parts of the border themselves. State Rep. Bryan Slaton has filed a bill designed to fund “border security enhancement projects.” The idea would be for Texas to build the wall with their own funds and then ask the Federal Government for reimbursement.
The immigration crisis at our southern border must be stopped.
That's why I filed legislation to finish Trump's wall on the southern border. The federal government under Biden is failing to protect our borders, so we must stand in the gap. #txlege https://t.co/0cyNyasBj3
— Bryan Slaton (@BryanforHD2) March 11, 2021
If there’s one thing we know about walls, it’s that they work.
A study that appeared in the American Economic Association’s July 20 edition documented the effects the Secure Fence Act of 2006 had on deterring migration at the U.S.-Mexico border.
While the fence the Act produced comes short of Trump’s criteria for a “big beautiful wall,” the study still found that it had a sizable impact on deterring illegal immigration. The Act authorized construction of 700 miles of fencing along the border, most of which was completed by 2009, but not finished completely until 2015.
According to a summary of the study from Breitbart’s Neil Murno:
“Construction in a municipality reduces migration by 27 percent for municipality residents and 15 percent for residents of adjacent municipalities,” said the article. “In addition, construction reduces migration by up to 35 percent from non-border municipalities,” says the author, Benjamin Feigenberg, at the University of Chicago.
Feignberg adds: Given working-aged populations of 5.0 million in Mexican border regions and 59.8 million in non-border regions, baseline migration rates of 0.42 percent and 0.41 percent per quarter, and estimated migration declines of 27 percent and 35 percent, roughly 5,670 border municipality migrants and 85,810 non-border migrants would be deterred each quarter if the entire border was fenced. […] This cost estimate in turn implies a total cost of approximately $1,870 per deterred migrant.
For reference, the annual cost of an illegal immigrant comes out to roughly $6,940 per year to taxpayers net of any state and local taxes illegal end up paying.
While the study did find that the fence did lead some migrants towards entering the U.S. by other means (such as the still-exposed parts of the border), it still led to a net decline in illegal immigration into the U.S.
In the pre-Trump era Democrats took a more sane approach to the issue of illegal immigration. Voting in favor of the Act included Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton. In total 64 Democrats in the House and 26 in the Senate voted for the Act.
Now these same people try to pretend that walls don’t work.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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