Border Wall Gap

The Trump White House had originally planned to complete a border barrier dividing Southern California from Mexico, and the Biden administration has discreetly approved the project.

The Department of Homeland Security declared in late May that a "deteriorated barrier" close to the international Friendship Park in Imperial Beach, just south of San Diego, will be replaced.

In the announcement, the department said the barrier “has not been treated to withstand corrosion from nearby ocean waters and currently poses safety risks to Border Patrol agents, community members, and migrants.”

Funding for the project, DHS added, would be drawn from funds allocated to pay for President Donald Trump’s infamous border wall.

Immigration groups claimed they were informed late last month that work will soon start on two 30-foot walls that would extend the current wall all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

According to Chula Vista Today, visitors used to be able to enter the park on the weekend through gates on the US side of the wall to greet friends and family who were traveling from the Mexican side before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Advocates claimed that Border Patrol officers informed them that there are currently no plans to include pedestrian gates in the new barrier after this practice was discontinued in March 2020.

“Border Patrol says they are just ‘replacing walls’ at Friendship Park, but the proposed construction amounts to a permanent closure of the U.S. side of this historic location,” John Fanestil, head of the Friends of Friendship Park alliance, based in San Diego, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Joe Biden should not be putting the finishing touches on Donald Trump’s border wall at Friendship Park,” Fanestil added.

A Border Patrol spokeswoman said to SoCalTelevision in San Diego on Wednesday: "In the near future we should have additional information regarding the installation of gates."

DHS once again urged Congress to "cancel remaining appropriations" for border construction and instead use the money for "smart border security measures" in its announcement from May.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, already issued a similar order in December, so this is not the first time he has authorized cash to be used to plug gaps in unfinished construction along the southern border.

The cash would be used to "meet life, safety, environmental, and cleanup needs for border barrier construction" in California, Arizona, and Texas, the government added at the time.

President Biden halted border wall building as soon as he took office, leaving a number of breaches in the barrier.

DHS unveiled a plan in June 2021 to repurpose the money used by the Trump administration to construct the wall and put it toward environmental restoration, construction site cleanup, and maintenance projects.

Plans were revealed as record numbers of migrants crossed the southern border, including a startling 239,416 contacts in May.

Customs and Border Protection has not yet disclosed the overall number of interactions for June.

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