EXCLUSIVE: Former President Donald Trump’s campaign took aim at President Biden late Wednesday after his administration admitted there was an “immediate need” for a wall at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“President Trump is always right. That’s why he built close to 500 miles of powerful new wall on the border, and it would have been finished by now. Instead, Crooked Joe Biden turned our country into one giant sanctuary for dangerous criminal aliens,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited an “acute and immediate need” to waive dozens of federal laws in order to build a border wall in south Texas where illegal migration has surged, a sharp contrast from the dismissals of the use of such barriers in the early days of the administration.
The agency posted an announcement on the U.S. Federal Register which outlines construction in Starr County in the Rio Grande Valley Sector — where the administration says there is “high illegal entry.” The agency says there have been over 245,000 migrant encounters in the sector this fiscal year.
Mayorkas says he is using his authority provided by Congress to waive 26 federal laws, including the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and Endangered Species Act.
Trump first promised in June 2015 that he would build a wall at the U.S. southern border, and attempted to do so throughout his presidency despite frequent roadblocks from Democrats in Congress.
Upon taking office in Jan. 2021, Biden signed an executive order that directed a pause in border wall construction. He had promised during his presidential campaign that there would be “not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.”
The administration said that wall construction under the Trump administration was “just one example of the prior Administration’s misplaced priorities and failure to manage migration in a safe, orderly, and humane way.”
The announcement comes as the Biden administration is facing a fresh surge in illegal immigration, leading to record-high numbers at the southern border and intense political criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sources told Fox News last week that there were more than 260,000 encounters in September — which would be the highest monthly total on record.
Fox has reached out to the White House for comment.