Joe Biden has yet to use the $2 billion Congress set aside during the administration of former president Donald Trump for the southern border wall, allowing thousands of illegal immigrants to cross unfinished parts of the barrier every day.
Biden temporarily shut down the construction of the border wall during his first week in office, even though funding for the project had already been secured through legislation.
Most of the border wall has been finished, but an 89-mile section in Rio Grande, Texas, is still wide open, according to border officials, and illegal immigrants are taking advantage of it.
“When we finished the border wall system, there was a traffic discrepancy,” a border official told the Washington Examiner. “Seventy percent of our traffic was on the west side, 30% was on our east side. Well, once we finished that wall, the percentage just started changing. And we started gaining control over that east side because we had that infrastructure.”
“I can tell you this,” the official continued, “if we construct the remaining 89 miles, we will gain operational control.”
Biden has vowed to use the rest of Congress’s border wall funding as an investment in new technology.
Border officials said this is a necessary step, but it won’t help them get control of illegal immigration.
“We’ll take the technology, but we won’t gain operational control over the area. It’ll help, but we won’t accomplish our mission,” the official said.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced last month that parts of the 89-mile Rio Grande border section will be completed this summer.
Biden’s decision to complete this section of border wall was the result of “pressure from local residents and politicians” who are frustrated with the flood of illegal immigrants crossing the border, according to one report.