The Biden administration redirected $2.2 billion of funds allocated for the border wall under former President Donald Trump to Department of Defense projects, the agency announced Friday.
The Department of Defense (DOD) canceled all border wall construction projects on April 30 and DOD Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks approved using the funds for 66 projects across 11 states and 16 countries, according to the agency.
President Joe Biden determined “building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution” to “security challenges at the southern border,” according to the DOD.
– Where are these quotes in the DOD statement?
NEW: The Biden administration is returning more than $2 billion to military projects that had previously been set aside for the construction of former President Trump’s border wall, the WH Office of Management and Budget says.
— Ana Cabrera (@AnaCabrera) June 11, 2021
The DOD instructed the secretary of the Army to pay contract termination and suspension costs from the funding, according to the agency. The Biden administration promised not to continue construction on Trump’s border wall, but continued seizing land for construction through April, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Nearly $2.2 million will be allocated to U.S. military projects in the country and abroad, though the DOD did not release plans for the remaining funds, according to the agency. Over half of the $2.2 million is directed at projects in other countries.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the state will construct its own border wall in response to increased illegal migration to the state, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday. Abbott criticized the Biden administration’s immigration policies for incentivizing migrants to attempt to enter the country illegally, negatively affecting landowners and Texans.
Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended over 180,000 migrants at the southern border in May, according to the agency. Officials have apprehended over 700,000 migrants at the southern border since January.
The DOD did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.