Ilhan Omar: Biden Border Wall Plan 'Shameful and Unacceptable' Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks during a news conference to discuss proposed legislation entitled Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act outside the U.S. Capitol on March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Thursday, 08 April 2021 11:33 AM
Rep. Ilhan Omar ripped President Joe Biden following news that his administration is considering plans to resume some construction on the southwest border that was paused once he took office.
Omar, D-Minn., tweeted on Wednesday: "It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of [former President Donald] Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall."
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees last week that the Biden administration plans to finish some "gaps in the wall" at the southwest border despite cutting off funding, according to The Washington Times.
He added that Customs and Border Protection have made their own proposal, but said: "It’s not a single answer to a single question. There are different projects that the chief of the Border Patrol has presented and the acting commissioner of CBP presented to me."
Mayorkas said, "The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of DOD funds to the construction of the border wall is ended. But that leaves room to make decisions as the administration, as part of the administration, in particular areas of the wall that need renovation, particular projects that need to be finished."
The secretary noted that this includes "gates," "gaps" and places "where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented."
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on Tuesday that while most construction is currently on hold, there is some work that will continue.
"Wall construction remains paused, to the extent permitted by law. So some has already been funded through a congressional authorization and funding allocation."
She added, "It’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the president on the management of the federal funds. When the administration took office … funds had been diverted from congressionally appropriated military construction projects and other appropriated purposes toward building the wall. And wall construction was being challenged in multiple lawsuits — and for much of the wall, I should say; not all of it — by plaintiffs who allege serious environmental and safety issues."
Psaki said that "Under those circumstances, federal agencies are continuing to review wall contracts and develop a plan to submit to the president soon," but at this time "it is paused. There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused."
Omar traveled last month to the southwest border in Texas, along with some of her Democrat colleagues, where she visited a facility for migrant children. The congresswoman, who fled Somalia when she was 8, said she was reminded of her own childhood experience.
"For me, it took me back to being a young kid, just like themselves," Omar said, according to Fox News. "I myself was a child who fled, like these kids, unconscionable violence."
She added later, "So I know that for the parents that have made the decision to have their kids take on this journey [they] are making a responsible decision because they want their kids to live."