On his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an “immediate pause” on construction of the southern border wall, “to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior administration to fund wall construction.”
The news was greeted enthusiastically in Mexico, with Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard saying this country welcomed Biden’s decision, as well as his immigration initiative in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary protection from deportation and work permits to young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. Biden issued a presidential memorandum directing his secretary for Homeland Security to start “preserving and fortifying” DACA, and to provide “Dreamers” with a path towards citizenship.
“The bridges open the way to cooperation and understanding” Ebrard wrote on his Twitter account.
One of the first voices of disapproval came from Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville: “Over the last four years, we have witnessed the effectiveness of more than 400 miles of new physical barriers in curbing illegal border crossings, assisting our border patrol agents in enforcing the law, and impacting daily apprehension rates,”he said. “For the administration to hit pause on those efforts sends the exact wrong message to our adversaries and those seeking to enter this country illegally.”
In a White House proclamation, Biden said: “Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”
Biden said his administration was “committed to ensuring that the United States has a comprehensive and humane immigration system that operates consistently with our nation’s values.”