President-elect Joe Biden Must End Border Wall Construction on Day One and Begin Working to Repair Damage and Communities


As President Trump visits Texas to tout border wall, Latino advocate group calls on President-elect Biden to issue immediate Executive Orders to halt construction and allocate funds to repair damage.

New York -- Today, Hispanic Federation, one of the nation’s largest Latino civic and advocacy groups, called on President-elect Joe Biden to issue Executive Orders in his first days in office to stop construction of the southern border wall, immediately cancel any contracts relating to construction, and to reprogram $1.375 billion appropriated to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to begin repairing fragile ecosystems, desecrated Indigenous sacred sites, and reverse the deadly militarization of the region.

President-elect Biden has said he would not build “another foot” of the border wall, and Hispanic Federation is pressing the incoming Administration to take immediate action to ensure that promise is kept.

“With contracts, equipment, and materials on hand, private companies are feverishly working to complete as much of the border wall as possible,” said Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation. “If we are to ensure not another foot is built after noon on January 20th, we will need the full force of a Presidential Executive Order on day one. President Trump has already ravaged too much of the precious and sacred southern landscape to complete this xenophobic vanity project, and we must end it now.”

On Tuesday, President Trump will travel to Texas to tout the completion of 450 miles of border fencing the Department of Homeland Security claims was erected during his time in office. In September it was reported that the rate of construction had nearly doubled, as crews pushed through environmentally sensitive areas of the southern border and sites sacred to Indigenous people. In many areas, crews are clearing land unlikely to see any barrier built, leaving a scar across the southern landscape.

“The border wall construction work has done irreparable harm to the environment, Indigenous people, and communities along the southern border. Simply halting construction will not heal these wounds, we must work together to repair as best we can the real damage caused by this project,” added Miranda. “President-elect Biden should order the use of $1.375 billion recently appropriated to CBP for the wall to make repairs to the landscape.”

The two Executive Orders recommended by Hispanic Federation are part of a larger policy platform developed by the group and shared with transition officials in December. The organization wants the Biden-Harris Administration to prioritize actions that will bring relief to Latino and other BIPOC communities during their first 100 days in office. You can read more about the platform, known as Primeros100, here.

Matthew Rojas