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Mayorkas says Biden still sticks to the same border wall policy.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended his approval of over a dozen miles of new border walls along the U.S.-Mexico border, countering criticism by emphasizing the administration’s legal obligation to proceed with the project. Mayorkas clarified that this decision did not indicate a shift in the administration’s stance on border walls, echoing President Biden’s longstanding position against them.

The controversy emerged when Mayorkas waived numerous federal laws to expedite construction in a Texas border region, citing an urgent need to prevent unlawful entries, particularly spiking in September. The move drew condemnation from various quarters, including environmental activists, Democratic lawmakers, and even Mexico’s president, who likened it to Trump’s controversial border wall efforts.

Conservatives viewed the decision as a contradiction of Biden’s campaign promises and a nod to Trump’s border policy. Mayorkas, however, insisted that it was not a change in policy but a legal necessity, citing Congress’s 2019 allocation of funds for border barrier construction in south Texas.

President Biden, addressing the issue, reiterated that the allocated funds must be used for their intended purpose, as Congress did not reappropriate them. Despite reaffirming his belief in the ineffectiveness of border walls, the decision faced criticism even from Democratic allies, with Rep. Nanette Barragán expressing disappointment and noting the misalignment with the administration’s commitment to ending border wall construction.

Source: cbsnews