In a letter to Congress released Thursday, February 11th, Biden reported his termination of Trump’s national emergency order regarding the southern border. Trump had used this order in 2019 to fund the border wall he had promised his supporters during his campaign. By declaring a national emergency, Trump was able to circumvent Congress and access military funds for the project. Biden referred to this order as “unwarranted” in his letter. The current president also announced that no more “American taxpayer dollars” would be used for the construction of the border wall. Additionally, he called for a careful review of the resources already allocated to the border wall project. A copy of the official proclamation accompanied this letter to Congress.
This move is especially important. Throughout the Trump era, the border wall became symbolic of Trump’s isolationist policies. “Build the wall” was a rallying cry for anti-immigrant nationalists. Hundreds of miles of barriers were built. Billions of dollars were wasted. Countless border communities were interrupted. And all for the sole purpose of division. Biden’s haste in ending funding for the wall signifies a more positive approach to immigration. Hopefully, we can begin an era of bridges, not barriers.