(San Diego) The Biden administration said Friday it has begun work to prevent flooding and soil erosion risks from unfinished sections of the wall on the US border with Mexico and will cancel military-funded contracts to build the wall. It is shutting down one of President Donald Trump’s famous projects.
The Department of Homeland Security said construction of the wall under the Trump administration “has made major holes” in the flood protection system in the lower reaches of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. The administration said it would “quickly” reform the flood protection system without continuing to expand the wall.
Officials in Hidalgo County, Texas, have expressed concern about flood risks during the hurricane season that begins in June due to cracks in the dam system after Joe Biden halted construction of the boundary wall upon taking office in January.
The administration said it will also correct “improper pressure of soil and building materials” along a section of the 22.4-mile wall in San Diego and will soon unveil plans to address the additional damage caused by construction of the boundary wall during Donald’s presidency. Trump card. Much of the San Diego Wall passes through uninhabited stretches of Border Patrol Officers’ areas.
Joe Biden ordered a halt to building the wall on his first day in the Oval Office, leaving billions of dollars in unfinished business – but still under contract – after Donald Trump put so much energy into building more than 720 kilometers of the wall last year, the goal he said was He achieved it eight days before he left office.
Joe Biden gave his aides until the end of March to find out the cost of canceling the contracts and whether the money could be spent elsewhere. The answers began to appear on Friday.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that it is canceling the contracts and will use the uncommitted funds for military construction projects. The department is examining the projects to which these funds will be directed.
As of January 15, the government has spent $ 6.1 billion of the $ 10.8 billion it has signed into contracts, according to a Democratic Senate aide familiar with the matter who spoke under the guise of anonymity as the details were not made public. . The total amount under the contract would have allowed Donald Trump’s Wall to reach 1,069 kilometers.
Publicly, the Trump administration has said it has raised $ 15 billion for the wall. The Senate aide said the amount was actually $ 16.45 billion, of which 5.8 billion was appropriated by Congress and the remainder was diverted from the Defense and Treasury departments.
Hidalgo County Magistrate Richard Cortez recently told Border Report there were at least four violations in the dam system protecting the low-lying area of Hidalgo County from flooding in the event of a major storm.
The land dam was built under 2006 legislation aimed at protecting the delta region from flooding, but it was also the basis of the Donald Trump Border Wall. Richard Cortez said the territories became at risk when Joe Biden stopped the work.
Conservationists welcomed Friday’s announcement.
“This long-awaited delay is a big step forward towards achieving justice for people and wildlife in border areas,” said Laiken Gordal of the Center for Biological Diversity. We are grateful that the Biden administration has put an end to this foolish destruction. ”