WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and eleven Republican colleagues encouraged the administration to resume and expand construction of the border wall. The letter to President Joe Biden also requests that the administration resubmit its supplemental funding request to include specific resources for border construction.
After years of inaction, and amid a crisis at the southern border, the Biden Administration has indicated it will proceed with the construction of approximately 20 miles of the border wall.
“Despite the administration’s messaging on this issue, construction of a border wall is sorely needed as communities and elected officials across the country demand a more robust response to illegal immigration,” wrote the senators.
In August, the administration sought funding from Congress to address the migration crisis on the border but did not request resources to construct a border wall.
“Your administration’s decision to continue construction of the Trump Administration’s physical border wall is a step in combatting ‘high illegal entry’ rates. With that, more must be done,” continued the senators.
If the administration wants to actually combat illegal immigration, it must resubmit the August request with a specific request to expand border wall construction.
Cassidy and Rubio were joined by U.S. Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Mike Braun (R-IN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Katie Britt (R-AL), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and John Hoeven (R-ND).
Read the full letter here or below:
Dear President Biden:
We write with regard to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) notice of determination to begin construction of the border wall along the U.S. southern border.” This acknowledgement of the law will help to deter illegal immigration. However, less than 24 hours after the posting of the notice, this administration has sought to walk back this common sense initiative. While technology can be deployed as a useful tool on our southern border, it does not act as a physical deterrent that is required, both under the law, and in full reality of the crises that continues. Despite the administration’s messaging on this issue, construction of a border wall is sorely needed as communities and elected officials across the country demand a more robust response to illegal immigration. We hope that this decision signals the beginning of a bipartisan consensus on the need for more physical deterrents on our southern border.
In light of Secretary Mayorkas’ announcement, I/we write to urge your administration to ensure that more land mass is covered by the border wall and for you to rescind and resubmit your August 2023 supplemental funding request to Congress to specifically include additional resources for construction. Under the current proposal, approximately 20 miles of border wall will be established. However, more must be done to deter unfettered illegal immigration, which is continuing at record-breaking pace. If we are to ensure the safety of American communities, more miles of border wall must be constructed.
In August, your administration sought supplemental funding for a variety of purposes, including to “manage [the] Southwest border safely and effectively.” This funding request specifically cited the need for additional resources as it relates to, among other things, “migration surges,” “Shelter and Services Program grants,” “non-intrusive inspection technology,” and “counter-drug activities related to fentanyl.” This funding request did not include funds for border wall construction along the U.S.- Mexico border, despite the Secretary’s subsequent decision to ramp up construction after years of inaction and reports of the Secretary auctioning off parts of the border wall that went unused from the prior administration.
Your administration’s decision to continue construction of the Trump Administration’s physical border wall is a step in combatting “high illegal entry” rates. With that, more must be done. We urge you to expand border wall construction efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border. Further, we additionally urge you to resubmit your August 2023 supplemental funding request to Congress to specifically include additional resources for physical border deterrents, taking into account the need for more land mass to be covered.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your prompt response.