Illegal migrants have begun taking advantage of unfinished sections of border wall after President Biden made the decision to halt construction on the barrier.
From Fox News:
Thousands of tons of steel and heavy equipment stand idle along the country’s southern border as legions of migrants exploit holes in the fence left by President Biden’s decision to halt construction.
Smugglers send groups of asylum seekers through the gaps to overwhelm the agents. When agents leave to intercept or apprehend one group, another group scampers across.
One border agent said that much of the construction is nearly complete and argued the administration should allow for the unfinished sections to be shored up:
“It’s insane,” said an agent attending to a group of 13 Brazilian migrants apprehended Tuesday near a 100-foot gap in the fence in Otay Mesa, Ca. “The project is 75% done. At least, they should be allowed to tie together the primary fence. Otherwise, we’re trying to catch these people in the worst possible place. It’s just sucking our manpower.”
Biden made stopping construction of the wall a priority in the first few days of his administration, issuing an order to stop construction while the contracts for the projects can be reviewed.
But that hasn’t stopped taxpayers from paying the bill, with contractors still getting paid to have their equipment sit idle while some experts warn that cancelling the contracts could end up costing more than finishing the projects:
“The contractor hasn’t stopped receiving money, even though they’re not working for two months. The contractors are being paid because they have resources, workers, equipment, materials that can’t be redeployed because they’re still on contract to build a project,” said Associated General Contractors of America’s Brian Turnmail.
“The government is paying contractors up to a million dollars a month to be on standby. That’s going to the total cost. So, if the government takes a long time to resolve the dispute, that will cost taxpayers more.”
Former President Donald Trump’s administration was able to complete 455 miles of new border wall, with $3 billion in allocated funding that could complete an additional 200 miles of barrier.
Biden is now tasked with deciding how to spend the rest of the funds, with some experts claiming that the money does not have to be used specifically on continued construction of the wall. Instead, Biden could use that money to restore natural wildlife habitats around the fence or make repairs to existing parts of the barrier.
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