At least all of it wasn’t wasted!
Nearly a year later, stockyards of material intended for the border wall construction have been unused in each of the four states bordering Mexico. This after President Joe Biden canceled all of Trump’s administration border projects.
The materials –– that include cameras, lights, electrical wiring, and steel panels –– could be repurposed at new military base homes in addition to being used to complete the border in Texas. The latter would form part of Governor Greg Abbott’s June promise. In June, Abbott said he would complete former President Donald Trump’s border wall in Texas.
The responsibility of determining how contracted companies for the border wall project can offload unused materials falls on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Border District.
Discussing the next steps regarding the plethora of unused materials, Robert Deaux, spokesman of the ACE, said contractors for the project have been instructed by the ACE to return unused materials to suppliers at a reasonable price. Then, any items that cannot be returned, will be offered to the Defense Department’s Defense Logistics Agency, military bases located near the border and Texas. If Texas or the U.S. military choose to claim the remaining materials, they will need to transport the materials off-site.
It is up to Texas and the U.S. military to claim anything they want and transport it off-site.
Many of the materials are in Yuma, Arizona. The area, which is a mere five miles of the 107 miles planned for the region, has not been completed since Biden suspended work on the border. As a result, many of the materials required to install underground sensors, roads, lighting, cameras, and gates in the wall remain abandoned following Biden’s border wall project suspension.
Anthony Porvaznik, retired Border Patrol Chief in Yuma, detailed how fiber optic cables were “just there in the sun,” adding that other items were exposed to the weather.
According to Porvaznik, the Army in Yuma Proving Ground was interested in the fiber. They would be subject to a protocol that highlights the order in which materials are made available. If the military fails to claim the materials, next in line would be federal agencies, followed by local and state governments, before the remainder gets auctioned to the private sector.
However, many former Border Patrol officials believe these materials should be used to complete the gaps in the fencing, especially in Yuma. The region has had a 2000% increase in non-citizen encounters. Before the southern border wall was halted by Biden, non-citizen encounters totaled 50 a day. Now they are roughly 1,000 per day.