HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — The Department of Defense is preparing to halt construction on the border wall near the U.S.-Mexico border once President-Elect Joe Biden takes office, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, revealed.
While the Trump administration is ramping up construction of the border wall on various portions of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary, Cuellar says officials are expecting quick action from the Biden administration to stop the projects.
“Unofficially, the Department of Defense has begun to prepare for President-Elect Biden’s likely stop-work order,” stated Cuellar. “After the receipt of notice of termination, the contractor shall immediately stop work, terminate subcontracts, and place no further orders as specified in the notice.”
A cost settlement will be disputed between the contractors and the government over the termination of the contracts.
The Trump Administration currently has $1.375 billion allocated for border wall funding that will have no place to go once the project is terminated. Cuellar assured that this money will be dispersed to the proper places for the community’s benefit.
Some leaders from Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley pleaded with Cuellar to get the money to be distributed to border communities.
Some of this money will be used to pay off the contractors for the uncompleted projects on the border. Cuellar says the sum will be assessed based on how much of a project was completed in specific areas by contractors, which the congressman states is dramatically low in many areas.
Cuellar went on to read statistics on the low number of new border miles added.
According to reports from Cuellar, only 25 miles of border wall was added to areas where a border wall structure did not exist before since President Trump took office in January 2017.
This greatly contrasts with the claims from the Trump administration, which prides itself on building more than 400 miles of border wall.
“It’s only 25 miles and in March it was only two miles,” Cuellar said. “A lot of [the 400 miles] has been replacement or double fencing. They went the easy way there.”
Cuellar later affirmed that while he is against the border wall, he does support border security and opposes open borders.
“I wanna make sure we protect the environment and have no wall, but we gotta have something on the ground,” Cuellar said. “Whether it’s cameras, censors, personnel, equipment.”
Cuellar stated that some of the excess funding from the border wall project could be distributed to improving technology on the border for law enforcement.
According to Cuellar, one third of the cameras in the Laredo sector do not work.
Additionally, Cuellar suggested using the funding to build a levy in the Rio Grande Valley to mitigate flooding in the area.
Cuellar said that the Trump administration will ramp up construction on the wall into the final days of Trump’s presidency.
“As long as President Trump is there, they’re gonna accelerate [border wall construction],” Cuellar said. “He wants to say he built ‘X’ amount of miles.”
Cuellar condemned President Trump for promising that Mexico would pay for the border wall, a campaign promise which did not come to fruition.
“It’s unfortunate taxpayers had to deal with this and landowners [on the border] had to deal with [Trump’s] obsession with the border wall,” Cuellar said.