© Greg Nash Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) criticized the Biden administration for the continued construction of the former administration’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which she called “xenophobic and racist.”
The criticism comes after The Washington Times reported that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees that the administration was considering finishing certain “gaps” in construction.
The outlet reported that Customs and Border Protection has submitted plans for further construction.
“It’s shameful and unacceptable for @POTUS to continue the construction of Trump’s xenophobic and racist wall,” Omar said on Twitter.
President Biden issued an executive order on his first day in office pausing some funds related to constructing the wall, and later rescinded the emergency order that former President Trump used to justify constructing the wall.
According to The Times, Mayorkas told ICE employees that the cancellation of funds “leaves room to make decision” on finishing “some gaps in the wall.”
“The president has communicated quite clearly his decision that the emergency that triggered the devotion of [Department of Defense] funds to the construction of the border wall is ended,” Mayorkas was reported in the Times as saying. “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.”
When asked about plans to fill in “gaps” where construction was halted, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was reviewing funds that were allocated for the wall. However, she made clear that the administration planned on investing in “smart security” at the border, rather than finishing the wall.
“We have never believed the wall as an answer to addressing the challenges — immigration challenges at the border. That’s why we’re proposing an investment in smart –investments in smart security at the border,” she said. “What we see as 21st century solutions for border management, and why we believe we should build a functioning immigration system.”