Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had backhanded praise for the Biden administration’s decision to expand the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Thursday, saying the shift proves Republican border policy right.
Grassley celebrated the move, but said previous Biden administration policies caused the mass undocumented immigration that made more wall necessary.
“never shld hv taken Pres Biden this long to agree WALLS WRK,” he wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This admins policies encouraged illegal immigration &created humanitarian crisis+strained town resources across US Now that big blue cities r facing reality of crisis Biden admin starts 2wake up?? Praise the lord FINALLY.”
The Biden administration announced Thursday it will waive 26 federal regulations to speed up border wall construction over 20 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
The move has garnered criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called it “window dressing,” while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) demanded an immediate correction.
But Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed back against the notion that the announcement is a change of administration policy — like Grassley and others have claimed.
“From day one, this Administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer. That remains our position and our position has never wavered,” Mayorkas said in a statement Thursday evening.
Biden said Thursday that the administration was forced into the move due to legal restrictions. Funding for the new Texas wall was already allocated during the Trump administration, and the Biden administration could not spend it elsewhere, despite attempts to.
In the announcement of the move earlier Thursday, Mayorkas said the new border wall was needed.
“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas,” he said.