Ilhan Omar slams Joe Biden for continuing to build Trump's 'xenophobic and racist' border wall: 'It's shameful'
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told department employees he may restart border wall construction to plug what he called 'gaps' in the current barrier
US representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district Ilhan Omar took to Twitter to criticize President Joe Biden about former President Donald Trump’s border wall. Omar wrote, “It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall.”
It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) April 7, 2021
The Washington Times reported on Monday, April 5 that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told department employees he may restart border wall construction to plug what he called “gaps” in the current barrier. As per the report, in a conversation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees last week Mayorkas was asked about his plans for the wall and he said that while President Biden has canceled the border emergency and halted Pentagon money flowing to the wall, “that leaves room to make decisions” on finishing some “gaps in the wall”.
Mayorkas reportedly said that Customs and Border Protection, the largest federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the country's primary border control organization, which oversees the wall, has submitted a plan for what it wants to see happen moving forward.
“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.”
He explained that the above-mentioned areas include “gaps”, “gates” and areas “where the wall has been completed but the technology has not been implemented”.
Arguing for the border wall — a project heavily a part of Trump’s 2016 election promise — New York Times columnist Bret Stephens recently wrote that while walls also cannot “address the root cause of our immigration crisis, which stems from a combination of social collapse south of the border and the pull of American life north of it,” a well-built wall should “still be a central part of an overall immigration fix. It’s an imperfect but functional deterrent against the most reckless forms of border crossing. It’s a barrier against sudden future surges of mass migration.”
Stephens wrote, “It’s also a political bargaining chip to be traded for a path to citizenship in a comprehensive immigration-reform bill. And it’s a prophylactic against the next populist revolt, which is sure to overtake our politics if the Biden administration cannot competently control an elementary function of governance.”
Of course, the Biden administration has been adamant about its position on the wall. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters, "We don't believe the wall is an answer. We've never believed [that] the wall is an answer to addressing the challenges, the immigration challenges at the border."
"That's why we're proposing investments in smart security at the border, why we're driving what we see as 21st-century solutions for border management, and why we believe we should build a functioning immigration system," she said. "There's a review underway on kind of where this funding had been allocated and not but it's currently paused."
"While construction remains paused, there is a review underway, taking a look at the funds that had been allocated," she said. "Funds had been diverted from military construction projects and other purposes toward building the wall — that was not something we, of course, supported. There are some components of the wall that had already been allocated — the funding to continue building by Congress — so we're working within what is allowable."
Reactions to Omar’s tweet played into the intense polarization that the US has witnessed around debates of immigration in the last few years. Many online made arguments like “How can an inanimate object be xenophobic and racist? If true is that wall around the Capitol xenophobic and racist? Is your wall around your own house xenophobia and racist?” and “How can a wall be xenophobic and racist? Not anti-Trumpers crying because of Biden already.”
But there were also those who made arguments like, “Neither the wall or the immense sea can stop immigration, only acceptable conditions in these people’s country will. The USA must develop ethical & human policies with local governments to provide basic human living conditions. Governments must be held accountable.”
How can an inanimate object be xenophobic and racist? If true is that wall around the Capitol xenophobic and racist? Is your wall around your own house xenophobia and racist? https://t.co/cfF8SFWlBq— Mac Brodie (@MacBrodie2) April 8, 2021
How can a wall be xenophobic and racist? Not anti-Trumpers crying because of Biden already. https://t.co/6eeqHCzzvf— Chimezie Odionye (@Chymeodins) April 8, 2021
Neither the wall or the immense sea can stop immigration, only aceptable conditions in these people’s country will. The USA must develop ethical & human policies with local governments to provide basic human living conditions. Governments must be held accountable. https://t.co/1FfchWwQoc— Edna Miralda MD (@eslizeth) April 8, 2021