UNITED STATES—On Monday, December 20, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced plans to use the existing border wall funds to finish gaps that were started during the administration of former President Donald Trump to address the problem of the influx of illegal immigrants at the United States the border.

President Joe Biden halted all border wall construction when he took office in January 2020 leaving large portions of the wall incomplete. The material is sitting unused on the ground near the border.


The DHS informed reporters that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ plan is to use border funds to protect border communities from danger resulting from the previous administration’s approach to border wall construction. Funds will be used for drainage, completion of access roads, and discarding unused materials at the border. The work is expected to be done in California, Arizona, and Texas.

According to reports, the state of Texas raised its own funds to assist in completing the border wall.

On December 20, Senate and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee ranking member Rob Portman of Ohio called the effort to complete portions of the border wall, “A step in the right direction.”

Senator Rob Portman.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, there have been 1,734,686 border encounters during the 2021 fiscal year.

In an October 29, 2020 press release, the construction of the wall system has funded 738 miles, completed 386 miles of construction, with 195 miles under construction and 157 miles in the pre-construction phase. It was noted that the Trump administration was on its way to meet its goal of 450 miles of a new border wall system to be deployed by December 31, 2020. The San Diego Sector was used as an example by the DHS.

Barriers have been effective in decreasing crime where illegal drug, border crossings, and human smuggling activities as a result of barriers being deployed as in the San Diego Sector.

In a 12-mile section in the San Diego Sector, the wall reduced CBP manpower requirements by 150 agents every 24 hours which is approximately a $28 million return on investment per year in salaries and benefits. Agents were redeployed to fill resource gaps in other areas of the border improving security for the United States.

CBP’s San Diego Field Office continues to be a large source of narcotics seizures. For the Fiscal Year 2019-2020, seizures of fentanyl, marijuana, and methamphetamine all increased, with meth seizures jumping at alarming rates in recent years. It has impacted drug smugglers who are caught at ports of entry in the United States the Department of Homeland Security noted.