Construction workers on the U. S.-Mexico border were notified to stop all border wall projects by the end of Tuesday, according to a congressman whose district sits on the international boundary.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, said in a statement issued late Monday that federal contractors working with U. S. Customs and Border Protection were notified by the agency to stop installing the 18- to 30-foot-tall portion of slatted steel wall across California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
“I received notification that in accordance with President Biden’s executive order, all CBP contractors have now been formally notified by CBP Procurement to pause construction activities on CBP self-executed projects,” Cuellar said. “While CBP cannot speak on behalf of the U. S. Department of Defense or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), it is expected that DOD and USACE are undertaking parallel action on CBP-funded border wall projects that they are overseeing.”
President Biden halted construction on border wall projects along the U. S.-Mexico boundary within hours of taking office on Jan. 20, marking what the end to one of the Trump administration’s highest-profile undertakings. The White House has not revealed what it will do with contracts for the remaining 290 miles, including how it will pay workers and for materials.
“The proclamation directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction,” the White House executive order stated.
More than 450 miles have been installed since former President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. Seven hundred and thirty-eight miles have been funded for $15.5 billion, including $10 billion diverted from the Treasury and Pentagon. The 450 miles installed to date are in place of old fencing and in new areas. Only approximately one-third of the 738 miles will go in previously unsecured areas of the border, though all the new barriers are far superior to the flimsy, short fences that they replaced.
Border wall projects have been undertaken in all four states that span the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. No projects were started on the Canadian border because illegal crossings are rare.
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