GOP lawmakers are still trying to sell Trump's border wall after he's gone

951

President Joe Biden halted construction of the wall on his first day in office.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) took a trip to Sasabe, Arizona, on Thursday to applaud Donald Trump's efforts to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.

Biggs slammed President Joe Biden's executive order halting the wall's construction as a threat to national security.

After Biden signed the order on Jan. 20 ordering that federal funds no longer be diverted to the wall, U.S. Customs and Border Protection instructed contractors to stop all construction by Jan. 27.

Biggs tweeted a video of himself on Thursday in front of a segment of the wall, saying that eight "colleagues" had accompanied him. He did not identify the colleagues, and his office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

"This new fence over here, this is 30 feet high. You've got the metal paneling across the top to make it harder to grip and get over," Biggs said. He claimed the new wall, "so much harder to get over" than previous structures, would curb an influx of immigrants from crossing the border illegally. "This is really going to slow this down. This is some of the new fencing that President Trump put in. This is why we need the fencing."

"The Biden administration says they're not going to put up any more fencing," Biggs said. "That's a huge, huge mistake.”

Other GOP lawmakers in recent days have taken to social media to trot out false claims about the effectiveness of Trump's wall and call halting construction a mistake.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ) tweeted Wednesday, "Construction of the border wall stops today, but the wall has helped border patrol agents and has reduced human and drug trafficking. Biden is clearly more focused on scoring points with the radical left than maintaining our border security."

"It's time to stop vilifying the concept of border security," wrote Rep. August Pfluger (TX) on Facebook. "Border security officers and immigration agents must be equipped with the tools and technologies to keep our country safe, and President Biden's decision to arbitrarily stop construction on the border wall and block agents from deporting illegal aliens is wrong."

"From wage suppression of American workers and strain on our social services, all the way to the narcotics, sex trafficking and other crimes directly attributable to illegal immigration, our nation NEEDS to move towards stopping the unencumbered flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border," Rep. Ralph Norman (SC) posted.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (TN) and Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND) also criticized Biden's move.

Despite the claims of Biggs and other, media were reporting back in 2019 that the newly constructed wall was easily breached using readily available tools such as a $100 reciprocating saw.

Customs and Border Patrol data shows that the number of immigrants seeking to cross the border has actually increased since construction began on the wall under Trump.

David Donatti of the ACLU of Texas told the Guardian, "The wall as a whole is unlikely to have any discernible impact. In a race to construct, the administration is building where it's easier as opposed to where most people cross."

There's no evidence Trump's wall has curbed either the drug trade or illegal border crossing, Donatti noted. It's only increased the number of migrant deaths: "As you keep building, you keep pushing people into more remote and dangerous areas."

"The U.S. federal government has tried to study this several times and has never found support that a border wall stops the flow of undocumented immigration," Donatti said.

As a candidate in 2016, Trump promised to build 1,000 miles of border wall and make Mexico pay for it. By the end of his time in office, he had constructed 452 miles — only 12 of which did not replace or reinforce existing structures.

The project cost U.S. taxpayers $15 billion. Mexico did not pay a penny.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.