Despite the widening southern migrant crisis, the Department of Defense announced Friday it is canceling further construction of the border wall that uses military funding, with billions of dollars being sent back to the Pentagon that had been reserved for building the barrier by the Trump administration.
The announcement comes as Republicans have been vocal in their calls for the Biden administration to revert back the the previous administration’s policies and continue construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, casting blame on President Biden’s policies for the surge of migrants attempting to enter the country.
The Department of Defense said that funding would be reverted back to other military projects.
“Consistent with the President’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement.
Trump declared a state of emergency at the border after Congress opted not to pass funding for the wall’s construction, allowing the previous administration to tap into DoD funding to move forward with the project.
One Pentagon official told ABC News that they felt the Trump administration’s decision was a misuse of funds. Biden signed an executive order in January to halt further construction.
“Border wall construction under the previous administration tied up more than $14 billion in taxpayer funds, shortchanged our military, and diverted attention away from genuine security challenges, like human traffickers. Rushed and haphazard wall construction also resulted in serious life, safety, and environmental issues,” the official said.
But the massive funding shift comes as Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has called on Biden to declare a national emergency at the border and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration in an attempt to halt their reversal in Trump’s border policies.