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What is happening to Trump's wall now?
Donald Trump wanted to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Instead it was more of a fence, and it wasn't even half finished. Now Joe Biden has inherited the project and with it numerous costly problems.
The first day of a presidency always marks a new beginning: That is why US presidents spend the first few hours in office canceling the so-called "executive orders" of their predecessors and instead issuing new ones. These decrees are presidential decisions that have the value of a law even without parliamentary approval.
Joe Biden has also begun his legislature by withdrawing numerous Donald Trump decrees and launching 17 new ones himself - some even reverse Trump's policy.
Cash flow stopped
Most of them concern the issue of migration. Above all, a prestige project and a key election promise of Trump: his wall between the USA and Mexico. Even if Trump only realized 40 miles (65 kilometers) from the “great great wall” during his presidency, he was able to build more than 400 miles (almost 670 kilometers) of a fence up to ten meters high - at a cost of 15 billion US dollars Dollars (over 12 billion euros).
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Biden now ended any expansion with immediate effect and also took away the financial basis of the project. Trump created it by promulgating an emergency settlement and diverting billions of dollars from the budget of the Treasury and Defense Department based on it.
The building of the wall continued despite the decree
Strictly speaking, the wall should have been over for around two months. But it's not that easy. This week about the Polit-Magazin reported Intelligencer, that despite Biden's decree, some construction companies had continued to work.
Trump's wall and the abrupt end of the project left chaos in many places: existing contracts with construction companies, kilometer-long wall frameworks, hundreds of tons of wall steel ordered, residents whose land was unnecessarily torn up, unclear responsibilities from regional to state offices.
In addition, the wall never served its purpose. On the contrary: even before Trump's presidency, most illegal drugs reached the United States by sea and not across the Mexican border. And the wall didn't change that either: in 2018, the vast majority of illegal drugs were confiscated at legal border crossings. Likewise, illegal migration through the wall did not decrease. There were over 70,000 arrests for illegally crossing borders last October and November. More than in just two months in ten years.
The wall will cost billions
For Biden there is therefore no question of continuing the construction of the wall. Just as little to tear down the existing wall. Both would cost billions, money that he currently urgently needs to fight the coronavirus pandemic. But even the downtime is expensive: According to an estimate in December, terminating existing construction contracts would cost around $ 700 million. An immediate exit from the entire project, including potential claims for damages, could cost up to $ 2.6 billion.
It is therefore most likely that Biden will undertake a change of strategy: No longer building the entire border to Mexico, instead the construction companies should install "intelligent surveillance technology" in "security-sensitive areas" - cameras and sensors, for example. That's how he writes it Intelligencer. The metal wall itself could become a problem. The material is likely to largely blind radar, a technology that has long been used on the Mexican border.
It is not yet clear how Biden will proceed with the wall. But one thing is certain: the problems are numerous, they cannot be solved quickly and the solutions are not cheap. For the President, who has set himself nothing less than the reconciliation of the country, this is an extremely ungrateful task.
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