The Department of Homeland Security said in a press release that the Yuma Morelos Dam project will close four gaps located within the “unfinished border barrier project” near the dam. In addition to the “life and safety risks for immigrants,” the department said the holes in the wall pose “life and safety” risks to first responders in the area.
Upon taking office, President Joe Biden called for a review of ongoing border wall projects and rescinded a national emergency declaration authorized by his predecessor that had allowed then-President Donald Trump to dip into additional funds to build his signature border wall.
Democratic Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, facing a difficult re-election this fall, applauded the decision to fill in the gaps in the wall. In a statement, he said he first pressed the president to agree to bridge the gap in December, and had “numerous calls” with the White House and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas.
The Biden administration has been criticized by allies and critics alike for its management of the southern border of the United States. The administration has struggled to deal with the influx of immigrants coming to the border, and lawsuits and infighting have delayed policy changes, leading to more of the same immigration policies as Trump.
The Supreme Court earlier this month refused to block a lower court order that prevented DHS from implementing new immigration enforcement priorities. The 5-4 court order was a loss for the Biden administration, which is trying to return to Obama-era policies limiting immigration detentions in order to focus on security risks rather than the more aggressive approach taken by the Trump administration.
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