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More than $100 million worth of construction materials are going to waste in Texas after President Joe Biden canceled the remaining federal contracts to build a wall on the southern border.
Fox News reporter Bill Melugin said Monday there is enough steel to construct more than 100 miles of border wall, but only 14 miles were built before construction was stopped when Biden took office.
A Fox News air crew captured footage of an estimated 10,000 steel panels intended for the wall that have gone unused since January. Each panel is worth about $5,000, and they are just sitting in Pharr, Texas, turning to rust, Melugin reported on “America’s Newsroom.”
NEW: What does it look like to not build the border wall? Our drone is overhead in Pharr, TX at one location where steel for the border wall has been baking in the sun & going to waste since January. Tens of millions of dollars worth of steel here already paid for. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/RTdiMTyqAh
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) October 11, 2021
“Upwards of $50 million just sitting there, going to absolute waste. Keep in mind, taxpayers have already paid for this. It’s bought and paid for and nothing is happening with it,” he said, adding that a second location with similar steel panels brings the total value of the unused materials over $100 million.
Fox News video shows the incomplete border wall in La Joya, Texas, where Melugin reports only half a mile of wall was built and migrants are crossing over the border freely.
“Basically, it’s useless,” he said. “We watch these migrants just walk around it all the time. It’s not doing anything, and the border agents out here are having to run around left and right as runners are constantly coming through.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that border wall construction in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors of Texas would be canceled. The termination of these federal contracts is in accordance with Biden’s order to return funds President Donald Trump diverted from other federal agencies to build the wall back to the agencies from which they came. The Trump administration diverted over $10 billion in funding from military projects and other sources to build the wall.
The DHS said in a statement that Customs and Border Protection will now “begin environmental planning and actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act for previously planned border barrier system projects located within the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Centro Sectors.”
“These activities will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition,” DHS said.
Border agents say a physical barrier like the wall is necessary to create choke points where federal law enforcement can focus manpower and scarce resources to secure the border.
“Border agents tell us they really need the wall here,” Melugin said. “They’re incredibly frustrated.”
Author: CHRIS PANDOLF
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