(The Hill) — Former President Donald Trump chided President Joe Biden over his recent move to allow border wall construction in South Texas, saying he will “await” the incumbent’s apology.
“Will Joe Biden apologize to me and America for taking so long to get moving, and allowing our country to be flooded with 15 million illegals immigrants, from places unknown,” Trump wrote Thursday in a Truth Social post. “I will await his apology!”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Wednesday it will waive 26 federal laws to allow border wall construction in Starr County, Texas, which is experiencing “high illegal entry.”
The move is the administration’s first use of an executive power often used by Trump to fund projects along the southern border.
“So interesting to watch Crooked Joe Biden break every environmental law in the book to prove that I was right when I built 560 miles (they incorrectly state 450 in story!) of brand new, beautiful border wall,” Trump wrote. “As I have stated often, over thousands of years, there are only two things that have consistently worked, wheels, and walls!”
During his presidency, Trump diverted billions in defense and military construction funds toward building a wall, a central focus of the former president’s 2016 campaign. He was then forced to use emergency powers instead after Congress refused to fully fund the project.
Shortly into his administration in 2021, Biden canceled the state of emergency Trump declared on the southern border and later slashed projects to build the wall. The funds were redirected back to their original purpose or toward repairing environmental damage from the wall’s construction.
The Biden administration has maintained a somewhat cautious approach to immigration and border security, fueling criticism from both sides of the aisle at times.
Efforts from the White House have ramped up in recent weeks. Last month, the Biden administration made a major strategic shift at the border and extended temporary protection status for nearly half a million Venezuelan nations currently residing in the United States. The move came amid Democratic leaders’ growing pressure on the White House to take more action regarding asylum-seekers.
The designation protects Venezuelans from removal, making it easier for those who came to the U.S. to get employment authorization, a repeated request from some Democrats who have pushed the Biden administration to speed up the process for asylum-seekers to get a work permit.
The White House also recently sent an additional 800 troops to help with the migration influx at the southern border.
The Department of Defense has already deployed around 2,500 state National Guard personnel, in addition to around 24,000 Customers and Border Protection agents and officers and 2,600 non-uniformed officers, the White House said last month.