Federal agencies building President Donald Trump’s partially-completed border wall are reportedly holding urgent crisis talks, in preparation for a stop-work order once President-elect Joe Biden enters the White House.
Both agencies have reportedly acknowledged that the wall, which runs along the southern Border with Mexico, will remain incomplete in some areas, with construction crews being unable to finish in time for Inauguration Day on January 20.
Biden has previously stated that he will halt construction of the border wall, and has also declared that his administration will close lawsuits that aimed to confiscate land for construction purposes.
Speaking with National Public Radio (NPR) back in August, Biden stated that there will be ‘not another foot of wall’ build at the border, with his administration set to take a markedly different approach:
I’m going to make sure that we have border protection, but it’s going to be based on making sure that we use high-tech capacity to deal with it. And at the ports of entry – that’s where all the bad stuff is happening.
Biden’s immigration plan will also reportedly rescind Trump’s declaration of a ‘national emergency’ at the southern border, with the Trump administration having previously used this declaration to siphon funds from the Department of Defense into financing construction.
As reported by The Washington Post, crews have been working around the clock at several locations at the border, putting up as much of the 30-foot steel bollard fencing as they can before Trump leaves office and the paychecks stop.
The companies will reportedly be entitled to compensation from Biden’s administration for the ‘demobilisation’ costs of withdrawing crews and equipment. However, the contracts contain a termination clause that would reportedly allow the government to break the deals.
Raini Brunson, a spokesperson for the Army Corps, which oversees the private companies building the barrier, told The Washington Post:
The termination clause permits the government to exercise its right to terminate the contract for its convenience. If terminated for convenience, the contractor is entitled to submit a request for termination settlement costs.
The Trump administration has so far completed 415 miles of the wall, and crews are reportedly on track to finish 450 miles by the close of 2020. Brunson has stated that the Army Corps doesn’t have any estimates as to how many more miles could be completed between the end of the year and January 20.
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CreditsThe Washington Post and 1 other
The Washington Post
National Public Radio (NPR)