Border wall: Defense Department criticizes the brakes in the project and is reviewing Biden’s order

Rene Bronson, a spokesperson for the agency, said the Army Corps of Engineers, which provides direction and oversight for border projects, “will take appropriate measures in accordance with (the executive order),” adding that later contractors involved in the construction were told not to install any additional physical barriers.

“Only the construction activity necessary to prepare each site safely for suspension will happen over the next few days,” Bronson said.

Biden took an instant snapshot of one of his predecessor’s major legacies Wednesday evening when he signed a proclamation calling for the end of construction of the border wall.

“It is my administration’s policy not to divert American taxpayers’ money to build a border wall,” Biden said in a statement.

Over the past four years, billions of dollars have been set aside to put additional barriers at the US-Mexico border, leading to a plethora of lawsuits and backsliding by environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers. Days from the end of his term, Former President Donald Trump visited the wall, citing it as an achievement of his administration.

The majority of the roughly 455 miles constructed during Trump’s presidency have replaced the old, dilapidated roadblocks with a new improved wall system, a noticeable difference from the previously constructed fence in some areas. 49 miles have been traveled where there were no barriers before, according to the latest figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“The announcement (Wednesday) is likely to lead to the so-called suspension of work on the border wall,” said Travis Sharp, a research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “While work is suspended, the contractor must keep track of any additional expenses caused by the delay, so that the government can pay these expenses later.”

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A California federal judge has already directed the administration to provide an update on how the new Executive Order affects an ongoing border wall case.

The government has the long-term power to terminate contracts, despite such measures It can come with their own challenges and at a costAccording to contracting experts. There are costs incurred before construction begins, such as planning costs, land acquisition, manufacturing expenses and prepositioning equipment. If contracts are terminated, the costs associated with cleaning, demobilization, and potential land restoration may also be required for safety and environmental reasons. Ultimately costs will depend on the size of the contract and how much the project has been completed to date.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan I acknowledge Those challenges are as the administration moves to conclude additional contracts. “They can finish those contracts if they want to,” Morgan said late last year, “but this is going to be a very long and messy process.”

Part of the obstacles facing the Biden administration relate to issues seeking to seize private land to build the wall. To this end, Ricky Garza, staff attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy group that represents landowners in land confiscation cases, described the announcement as “disappointing”.

“Biden pledged as a candidate not to build another foot and dismissed the lawsuits. That’s what a lot of us have been counting on,” Garza said. “There were no new lawsuits, but in the more than 200 cases that existed, there was the constant drumbeat that things were moving … as if nothing had changed.”

In December, Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar from Texas I sent a message To Biden, along with other lawmakers, he urged his team to immediately prioritize ending the national emergency declaration, rejecting claims for land confiscation, terminating wall contracts, and rescinding environmental concessions.

Cuellar expressed confidence in the announcement issued by Biden the White House on Wednesday.

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“This executive order is very important because it ends the national emergency declaration that allowed Trump to withdraw money from other administrations,” Cuellar told CNN. “The president definitely fulfilled my expectations and I am very happy about that.”

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