“Biden’s Costly Halt of Border Wall Construction”
By Henry W. Burke

A fence that is made of wood and metal.


On the one-year anniversary of Biden’s time in office, this is a good time to examine his horrible open-borders decisions.

During Joe Biden’s first day in the White House (January 20, 2021), he signed an Executive Order halting the construction of President Donald Trump’s Southern Border Wall.

The absence of a completed border wall and open-borders policies have allowed at least 2 million illegal immigrants to pour across the Southern border last year, 2021. Over 173,000 arrests of illegal immigrants were made in just one month, November 2021.

Additionally, human trafficking and drug smuggling are rampant, resulting in unbelievable levels of harm and death!

A. Border Wall Construction

In order to curb illegal immigration into the U. S., President Donald Trump kept his campaign promise to build a secure border wall along the U. S. Southern border with Mexico.

In Trump’s typical master builder fashion, he secured input from the men and women who protect the border from illegal immigrants – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. The Trump Administration conducted a design competition near the San Diego border with Mexico. Eight wall prototypes were built to allow the CBP agents to see the various possibilities.

Out of this design competition and follow-up discussions, the following design considerations were established for new border wall construction: Steel bollard panel walls 30-ft. tall with a 5-ft.-high anti-climbing steel plate at top, 4-in. gaps between bollards for visibility to other side of wall, and reinforced concrete footings at the base. The steel bollards consist of 6-in. square tubes made of American-made, high-strength steel. The bollards are filled with reinforced concrete to thwart cutting. Steel bollard wall sections are fabricated into 8-ft. wide panels (4-ft. wide panels in steep terrain).

To make a complete border wall system, it takes more than a sturdy steel wall. The border wall contracts included: border wall construction, steel wall gates, all-weather roads, lighting, electronics, sensors and cameras, fiber-optic cables, security features, and environmental considerations.

President Donald Trump planned to build 664 miles of border wall along the Southern border with Mexico. When Trump left office on January 20, 2021, some 453 miles of border wall had been completed. Border wall construction was proceeding at a rapid pace until January 20, averaging 34 miles per month for the last three months of 2020. At that rate, the proposed border wall would have been completed in six months (by about July 1, 2021). https://www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/border-wall-system

When candidate Joe Biden was running for office, he promised to stop the construction of the Southern border wall. This is one of the very few campaign promises that he kept. On the day he took over the White House (January 20, 2021), he signed an Executive Order which halted (“paused”) all border wall construction and diverted all funds for new border wall to other activities. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/proclamation-termination-of-emergency-with-respect-to-southern-border-of-united-states-and-redirection-of-funds-diverted-to-border-wall-construction/

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Department of Defense - DOD) served as the federal contracting agency for new border wall construction. The Corps worked in concert with U. S. Customs and Border Protection (under the Department of Homeland Security - DHS). Between October 2017 and September 2020, the Corps awarded construction contracts valued at $10.8 billion. The Trump Administration had about $16.5 billion allocated for border wall construction (appropriated by Congress and diverted from DOD). https://www.enr.com/articles/51704-feds-to-repair-damage-from-halted-border-wall-work-in-texas-california?oly_enc_id=4868I1027934I2I

In accordance with Biden’s Executive Order, all construction work on the border wall was halted on January 20, 2021. Additionally, the Defense Department began cancelling all border wall construction contracts on April 30, 2021. Approximately $6.1 billion of the $10.8 billion in signed contracts had been spent by April 30. As of March 2021, most of the border wall construction contracts were held by four contractors; the total value of those four contracts was $7.2 billion. It is estimated that it will cost the federal government at least $1.2 billion to exit those border wall projects. https://www.enr.com/articles/51704-feds-to-repair-damage-from-halted-border-wall-work-in-texas-california?oly_enc_id=4868I1027934I2I


When a federal construction contract is cancelled, the contractors must submit proposals to the Corps related to “contract cancellation for convenience.” These proposals will include costs incurred up to the receipt of the stop-work order. If a contractor has purchased materials for the border wall, these costs are reimbursable. These materials might be stored onsite, but they are often stored offsite. https://www.enr.com/articles/51076-biden-halts-federally-funded-border-wall-construction

After Biden issued his foolish Executive Order, the federal government started paying the construction contractors to guard and protect the border wall materials (steel bollard panels, reinforcing steel, concrete culverts, and many other items). According to a U. S. Senator report, the federal government has been spending $3 million per day to have contractors guard the materials. Between January 20, 2021, and July 15, 2021, the government had spent $708 million just to protect these materials from vandalism and theft. Those costs are continuing. https://www.theepochtimes.com/unbuilt-border-wall-worth-millions-could-be-sold-for-scrap_4216642.html

To add insult to injury, the Biden Administration will not allow the steel bollard panels to be used by the State of Texas in the State’s effort to build new walls along the Texas border. Many of the steel bollards are filled with reinforced concrete; this means the government will only get a few cents on the dollar for the scrap metal.

Because the border wall construction contracts were abruptly halted then later cancelled, many important features were not completed. These items were listed earlier: steel wall gates, all-weather roads, lighting, electronics, sensors and cameras, security features, fiber-optic cables, and environmental considerations. On most wall projects, these are the last items to be completed.

Without these key features, the border wall is barely functional. For example, there are large gaps between completed wall sections. In many places, the steel wall gates are missing. Everyone has seen videos of illegals pouring through these open areas in the border wall. Without completed roads and drainage items, CBP access is poor. With no lighting, cameras and sensors, the Border Patrol agents cannot see where illegals are crossing. In many cases, illegal immigrants are destroying concrete footings to gain access to the U. S. side of the border.

B. Illegal Immigration

Under Biden’s open-border policies, illegal immigration across the Southern border has been on steroids! Biden promptly discarded all of the good programs President Trump had put into place. For example, Biden eliminated the “Remain in Mexico” policy and replaced it with “catch and release.” According to the CBP, illegal encounters (arrests) at the Southwest Border numbered 458,088 in Fiscal Year 2020 (ending September 30, 2020). For Fiscal Year 2021, illegal encounters jumped to 1,734,686. November 2021 saw a record number of arrests at 173,620 on the U. S.-Mexico border. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters

Calendar years are easier to understand (January 1 to December 31). For Calendar Year 2020, illegal encounters numbered 547,777. For Calendar Year 2021 (roughly Biden’s one year in office), illegal encounters (arrests) jumped up to a whopping 2,028,643! This 270 % increase in illegal immigrants has totally overwhelmed the border! In round numbers, 2 million illegals poured over the southern border in 2021, thanks to Biden’s ill-conceived policies and the cancellation of border wall construction! https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-land-border-encounters

The effectiveness of the new border wall can be illustrated by comparing Calendar Year 2019 to 2020. New border wall construction started in February 2018. As of January 2019, about 35 miles of new border wall had been built. By the end of 2019, some 110 miles of new border wall were in place. By the end of the 2020, about 453 miles of new border wall were in place (343 miles built in 2020). For Calendar Year 2019, illegal encounters were 921,812. For Calendar Year 2020, illegal encounters dropped to 547,777 (a decrease of 374,035). The lesson is clear; as additional border wall was constructed, CBP agents could more easily control the flow of illegals across the border.

Of course, these figures do not include the illegal immigrants who slipped across the border unnoticed! This means that far more than 2 million immigrants illegally entered the U. S. across the Southern border! Under Biden’s direction, these illegal immigrants have been dispersed throughout the country (many times during the night). Essentially, “every state has become a border state!”

C. Drug Smuggling and Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is huge! Over 95 % of the illegal immigrants use human smugglers, who charge thousands of dollars per person. Tragically, most of the women and children are raped by the cartel human traffickers on the immigrants’ journey to the U. S. border.

Drug smuggling across the Southern border is absolutely out of control. Fentanyl is a highly addictive drug that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin! China is the primary source of fentanyl, which readily moves through Mexico and flows over the porous Southern border. A record number of more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in a 12-month period! The costs of an open Southern border are huge! https://www.theepochtimes.com/border-patrol-reports-1066-percent-increase-in-fentanyl-seized-in-south-texas_4201427.html?utm_source=ai&utm_medium=search