Shelby, Capito Correct False Claims by Biden Administration on Border Wall Construction


Link to GAO Follow-Up Letter


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a letter U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, sent along with more than 100 colleagues highlighting President Joe Biden unlawfully freezing of border wall funding, the administration has continued to make false or misleading claims about its actions.  As a result, Senator Capito, along with Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, responded with a letter to GAO Comptroller Gene L. Dodaro to supplement the record with evidence responding to those claims.


“For the most part, the administration, as directed by the Proclamation, is making no effort to implement construction of the border wall system and, even if it was, there are no external factors to justify the delay.  To the contrary, the delay here is entirely of the president’s making, and we know from recent experience that the executive branch may not point to a delay of its own making and label it ‘programmatic.’  Moreover, the current external factors—namely, the most acute immigration crisis in recent memory—support expediting work on the border wall system, not halting it.  The current pause is all the more frustrating given that the implementation of border wall construction was well underway when the president made his proclamation.  For all of these reasons, the proclamation’s direction is entirely irreconcilable with the law,” the lawmakers wrote.


After having made significant progress during the previous administration to secure the southern border with new infrastructure, illegal crossings of both people and drugs have increased.  Drug seizures were up six percent in April over March and April also saw a three percent increase of persons attempting entry over the previous month.  The administration’s claims of the seasonal nature of these spikes are not born out by the numbers.  Currently, CBP is overwhelmed and at overcapacity.  Reports indicate that nearly all border patrol sectors are above 100 percent capacity, with some sectors double, triple, or even at significantly higher levels of overcapacity.  Many Senate and House members have made visits to the border over the past several weeks to see these conditions for themselves.  

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