03.18.21

Daines Pushes to Restart Construction on Southern Border Wall, Slams Biden for Violating the Law over Border Wall Funding

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines slammed the Biden administration for violating the law by freezing funding specifically appropriated for the southern border wall. 

“On January 20th, in one of the first official acts of his presidency, Joseph Biden suspended border wall construction and ordered a freeze of funds provided by Congress for that purpose,” Daines’ letter states. “In the weeks that followed, operational control of our southern border was compromised and a humanitarian and national security crisis has ensued. The President’s actions directly contributed to this unfortunate, yet entirely avoidable, scenario. They are also a blatant violation of federal law and infringe on Congress’s constitutional power of the purse.”

Daines will continue to work to hold Biden responsible for violating the law. Read the full letter HERE.

The Senator believes “Montana is a northern border state with a southern border crisis,” as the state continues to battle the flow of Mexican meth. 

Background: 

Due to efforts by the Trump administration to secure the southern border with new infrastructure, illegal crossings in the Yuma Sector decreased by 87 percent from Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) to FY20 in areas with new border wall system. In the Rio Grande Valley Zone 1, an area that did not previously have border infrastructure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) saw a 79 percent decrease in apprehensions and a 26 percent decrease in narcotics seizures after completion of the border wall. Additionally, in El Paso Zone 14 and 15, CBP saw 60 percent and 81 percent decreases in apprehensions, respectively, when comparing the second half of FY20 to the first half of FY20.

Since President Biden’s election in November 2020, CBP numbers have increased significantly. In February 2021, CBP had 100,441 border encounters, amounting to a 39 percent increase from 71,946 encounters in October 2020 and a 173 percent increase from the 36,687 encounters in February 2020 – just one year prior. Additionally, there have been 325,012 border encounters since November 2020, while there were only 220,563 in the four months prior – a 68 percent increase.

In response to the immigration crisis surging at the southern border, Senator Daines will join a Senate delegation on a tour to the Texas-Mexico border.