- The Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to correct "physical dangers resulting from the previous administration's approach to border wall construction" along the U.S.-Mexico border, it said in a statement.
- The initial steps to alleviate problems include repairing the Rio Grande Valley's flood barrier system in Hidalgo County, Texas, and remediating soil erosion in San Diego.
- The DHS will roll out additional measures for addressing issues if it identifies other areas damaged by the border wall's construction, the announcement said.
President Joe Biden promised to end all types of wall construction, and though these projects take place near the border, the DHS said the new projects will not involve expanding the current border barrier.
On his first day in office, Biden issued a proclamation terminating the redirection of funds for the border wall and pausing wall construction. In addition, in the $1.52 trillion discretionary funding request sent to the Senate's Committee on Appropriations in April, Biden's administration did not ask for any border wall construction funds and requested canceling unobligated, prior-year funding set aside for the wall.
Wall construction damaged the Rio Grande Valley flood barrier system by blowing large holes in it to make way for the wall, Biden administration officials said. The barriers provided protection for the low regions of Hidalgo County, Texas, the DHS said, and the breaches pose a threat of catastrophic flooding for the local communities.
The halt to border wall construction could have inadvertently caused the problem, Newsweek reported. When work stopped, contractors building the wall sent their workers home. As a result, the levee breaches, which may have been fixed had wall construction continued, were left behind.
Meanwhile, in San Diego, improper compaction of soil and construction materials has caused erosion along a 14-mile stretch of the barrier. The DHS said it will begin necessary backfill projects for erosion protection and corrective actions to ensure the safety of nearby communities.
As Biden's administration attempts to bolster parts of the wall, some Republicans are still trying to complete it. In late April, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, introduced the Finish the Wall Act. The law would see the resumption of wall construction and prevent the DHS from canceling border wall contracts.