After using executive action to pause further construction on a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico on one of his first days in office, President Joe Biden has now terminated the emergency order used to justify the construction of the wall.
Biden said he had “determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted.”
His comments are part of a letter sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President of the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris, and posted to the White House’s website.
“I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end,” Biden writes, informing the leaders that he terminated the emergency order originally issued by former President Donald Trump in February 2019.
On one of his last days in office, Trump visited the wall to tout the roughly 450 miles of wall that had been built during his administration along the 2,000 mile border between the two countries.
Biden’s action to stop construction on the wall comes a week after his administration asked the Supreme Court to cancel upcoming hearings on a case challenging the legality of the funding for the border wall.
At the time of the filing, the Biden administration said the president had asked for an assessment of the funding and contracting methods used to construct the wall and they were asking the Supreme Court for more time to allow the assessment to happen.
The ACLU sued the Trump administration on behalf of the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, and a federal appeals court agreed with their case that Trump had illegally sidestepped Congress to use $2.5 billion from the Defense department budget on the wall.
Trump’s administration appealed to the Supreme Court, and the high court agreed in October to hear the case. They were supposed to have a hearing this month, until the Biden administration asked for a delay to complete their assessment of the funds and construction. Now, the emergency order justifying the construction has been terminated and the funding is under review.