The Biden administration’s decision to waive dozens of federal laws, including the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, to build miles of border wall in South Texas has sparked criticism from within the Democratic establishment, environmental groups, and activists.
The move comes as the administration claims its hands are tied due to the funds being appropriated during the Trump era and an “immediate need” to address high illegal entry in the area. The administration had previously halted most border wall construction at the start of 2021, Fox News reports.
BREAKING: The Biden administration says there is an “immediate need” to wave regulations and build a border wall as the migrant crisis spirals out of control.
Remarkable. 4 years ago this was “racist.” Now they’re advocating for it.
"There is presently an acute and immediate… pic.twitter.com/OREJNUkWcl
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 5, 2023
Some far left Democrats, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, rejected the explanation, arguing that the administration wasn’t required to expand wall construction and waive environmental laws. They contend that walls only push migrants into more remote areas, increasing their risks.
Environmental groups have also criticized the waiver of federal laws for the project, expressing concerns about the impact on wildlife and habitats in Starr County, Texas.
Two months ago, I traveled to the Southern Border and caught Joe Biden secretly BUILDING Trump's wall.
His federal officers tried to stop us from filming the reality at the border.
We got it ALL on camera before any corporate network.
Joe Biden doesn't want you to see this: pic.twitter.com/MGwQH8SsPS
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 5, 2023
Despite these criticisms, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defended the move, stating that the construction project was funded by a Trump-era congressional appropriation and that the government is legally required to use these funds for their intended purpose. DHS officials also emphasized that the project includes detection technology, lighting, and access roads and that they would take steps to protect cultural and natural resources and use sound environmental practices.