“Legions of migrants” are using holes in a wall along America’s southern border in an attempt to enter the US in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to halt construction on the fence, Fox News reported on Thursday.
The US news outlet referred to the wall’s unfinished sections as “convenient gateways” for smugglers and asylum seekers, something that helps them illegally penetrate the border.
Last week, the Government Accountability Office (GOA) launched a probe into the legality of President Joe Biden’s order to halt the construction of the US-Mexico border wall, a pet project of former POTUS Donald Trump aimed at containing migration flows.
Fox News cited an unnamed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) source as talking about a group of 13 Brazilian migrants who were detained near a 100-foot gap in the wall in the Otay Mesa community near the city of San Diego, California.
“It’s insane. […] The [wall] project is ¾ 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”, the source asserted.
This came as Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America said the wall’s contractor hadn’t stopped receiving money for the project, despite “not working for two months”.
“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”, Turnmail added.
The remarks were preceded by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandra Mayorkas claiming that the situation unfolding along the US-Mexico frontier would put America “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years”.
Although the Biden administration has been turning away many individuals seeking refuge in the US, it has been granting entry to vast numbers of unaccompanied children arriving at checkpoints, a move that has prompted the overcrowding of various holding facilities.
Preliminary figures obtained by CNN indicate that US Border Patrol officials detained more than 11,000 unaccompanied children between 28 February and 20 March, a massive increase from the 5,600 children the agency apprehended in January.
In a bid to urge migrants against making the trip to the border, Biden, for his part, issued a strong warning in March, telling individuals not “to come over”.
Neither Biden nor Vice President Harris have made a trip to the southern border since the crisis emerged, indicating they plan to visit the area at “some point”. POTUS recently picked Harris to serve as the point person in leading the US administration’s efforts to handle migration on the country’s southern border.
Democrat Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on 20 January. Just hours after the inauguration ceremony, he embarked on finalising 17 executive orders to reverse some of his predecessor’s policies, including an order to stop the construction of a border wall.
In January 2017, then-US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin construction of a wall along the US–Mexico border using existing federal funding, pledging to build an 800-kilometre (497-mile) facility.
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