In one of his first executive orders after taking office, President Joe Biden halted all construction on the southern U.S. border wall in a proclamation on Jan. 20, 2021, referring to it as a “waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
On Wednesday, May 12, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Twitter that it had resumed “critical work to repair the Rio Grande Valley’s flood levee, which was excavated to make way for [the] border wall.” This led to misleading reports and viral tweets claiming that the Biden administration had resumed construction of the wall.
Did the Biden administration resume construction of the border wall?
No, the Biden administration has not resumed construction of the border wall. The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clarified that repairs are being done on a flood levee.
WHAT WE FOUND
In late April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a series of repairs to certain areas where border wall construction had taken place in San Diego and the Rio Grande Valley. A press release on April 30 explains that these actions are “consistent with the President’s Proclamation to protect border communities.”
On May 12, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded to allegations that the Biden administration had resumed construction on the border wall. In a follow-up tweet, the agency clarified that these are remedial works, and not an extension or continuation of the wall.
“To be clear, wall construction remains paused to the extent permitted by law,” the tweet says. “Per DHS, we’ve started critical work to repair the Rio Grande Valley’s flood levee, which was excavated to make way for the border wall. This remediation work will not involve expanding the border barrier.”
The two main DHS construction projects are to repair the Rio Grande’s flood barrier system and remediate soil erosion along a portion of the wall in the San Diego area, according to DHS.
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