President Joe Biden entered office in January with a clear desire to roll back as many of his predecessor’s strict border policies as possible — including an immediate halt to construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
According to recent reports, however, the project initiated by former President Donald Trump will continue, at least in part.
Materials of all sorts discarded along border
The federal government under the Trump administration provided funding for the costs associated with constructing a border wall.
Since Biden’s decision to repeal that order, the related funding and supplies have basically gone unused in border states across the country.
Among the equipment essentially discarded after construction ended are steel panels, cameras, lights, wiring, and much more. Yuma, Arizona, for example, is now home to an array of construction materials strewn along its border with Mexico, according to the Washington Examiner.
As it turns out, those components might once again be destined for their original purpose. Efforts are reportedly underway to clean up the unused materials, giving federal agencies and the military the first opportunity to claim them.
Anything that goes unclaimed will be offered to state and local governments, which could ultimately benefit conservatives who supported the border wall project.
“A step in the right direction”
Because of that caveat, it is possible that a Republican leader like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott could seize on the opportunity to take a more localized approach in fulfilling Trump’s plan.
Abbott has already proposed finishing construction in Texas at the state level, and materials left behind from the aborted federal project could go a long way toward achieving that goal.
For its part, the White House has ordered these border wall construction sites to be cleaned up, though there has been some evidence that the current administration might be filling in some of the gaps along the current barrier.
Specifically, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave approval for the construction work, which will address spots along the border between Del Rio, Texas, and San Diego, California, according to The Washington Times.
As Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said of the news: “Today’s announcement of increased border wall infrastructure and gates are a step in the right direction.”