White House downplays decision to fill border wall holes, claims Biden admin ‘cleaning up’ Trump’s ‘mess’

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In this June 10, 2021 file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through an opening in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to apply for asylum.

The White House on Friday downplayed its decision to complete construction of part of former President Donald Trump’s border wall near Yuma, Arizona.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked by Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy during the daily press conference. Jean-Pierre claimed that President Biden “didn’t finish the wall”, but rather filled in gaps to prevent migrants from attempting dangerous border crossings.

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“We are cleaning up the mess that the previous government made,” Jean-Pierre said. “We are trying to save lives… A border wall is an ineffective use of taxpayers’ money.”

US Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds the daily press conference at the White House in Washington, US, June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

The Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this week that it was prioritizing the completion of the wall at Arizona’s Morelos Dam. Government officials say the decision was made to prevent illegal migrants from being injured while trying to cross a dangerous section of the Colorado River.

DHS officials do not say the area in question is the third busiest illegal crossing along the US-Mexico border. Border police officers have stopped more than 160,000 times along the stretch in the first six months of this year alone.

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“This area poses a safety and life hazard to migrants attempting to enter the United States, where there is a risk of drowning and injury from falls,” DHS said in a statement. “This area also poses a life and safety risk to first responders and officers responding to incidents in this area.”

In this June 10, 2021 file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through an opening in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to apply for asylum.
(AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File)

The news of the decision to fill gaps in the border was met with derision by Republican lawmakers.

“After Spanish support for President Biden’s craters has gotten to 26% approval, he suddenly wants to complete the border wall,” tweeted Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-GA.

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Critics noted that Biden had campaigned vigorously to stop construction of the wall as he competed for the White House in 2020.

At one point, Biden even promised that if he won “not another foot,” the project would be built.

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