Joe Biden to Issue Executive Order Ending Border Wall Construction

January 20, 2021 Updated: January 21, 2021

President Joe Biden will issue an executive order suspending border wall construction, although it’s not yet clear if the existing fencing will be removed.

“Bipartisan majorities in Congress refused in 2019 to fund President Trump’s plans for a massive wall along our southern border, even after he shut down the government over this issue. He then wastefully diverted billions of dollars to that construction,” said his transition office in a statement. “By proclamation, President-elect Biden will today declare an immediate termination of the national emergency declaration that was used as a pretext to justify some of the funding diversions for the wall.”

The statement added that it will place a pause on border wall construction projects and will “allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods.”

Trump at border wall
President Donald Trump looks on before signing a plaque as he participates in a ceremony commemorating the 200th mile of border wall at the international border with Mexico in San Luis, Ariz., on June 23, 2020. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The administration will also “determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction,” according to the statement.

As of Tuesday, according to reporters on the scene, construction of the barrier was still going on. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, overseen by the Department of Homeland Security, said that more than 450 miles of wall were constructed under Trump’s term.

Last week, Trump visited the wall and touted his efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biden is also expected to issue more executive orders reversing some of Trump’s other policies. The 46th president was sworn into office at around noon on Wednesday, Jan. 20.