Biden administration cancels remaining Laredo, Rio Grande Valley contracts for Trump's border wall, angering Republican lawmakers

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Biden administration cancels remaining Laredo, Rio Grande Valley contracts for Trump's border wall, angering Republican lawmakers
A Border Patrol vehicle near the Rio Grande in Laredo, Texas. Veronica G. Cardenas/Reuters
  • The Biden administration on Friday canceled contracts for border wall construction in Texas.
  • The cancelled contracts were in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo areas.

The Department of Homeland Security on Friday said it would cancel the remaining construction contracts for former President Donald Trump's border wall.

The contracts related to two sections of the US-Mexico border in Texas: Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley area, the DHS said in a press release.

The move came months after the Biden administration cancelled two contracts that spanned about 31 miles of the US-Mexico border in Texas.

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DHS said it planned to begin environmental studies for border barrier "system projects." However, those "activities will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition," it said.

The construction of barriers along the southern US border has become a highly partisan issue. President Donald Trump sought to build a "big, beautiful wall," but others raised questions about whether barriers would solve the problems that drove asylum-seekers to the US in the first place.

Friday's move by the Biden administration raised the ire of a handful of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw, of Texas.

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"Impeach Mayorkas," Crenshaw said on Twitter, referring to Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security.

"Canceling construction of the border wall isn't going to solve the Biden Border Crisis," Sen. Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, said on Twitter.

Earth Justice, an environmental nonprofit that had sued the Trump administration over the wall, on Friday said canceling the projects would save "71 river miles in Webb and Zapata counties from destruction." The group said the projects would have cost more than $1 billion.

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In June, the White House returned $2 billion from border wall projects to the military. Trump's administration had diverted those funds.

"Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of federal funds," The White House Office of Management and Budget said at the time.

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