President-elect Joe Biden is promising that border wall building won’t continue under his administration, but with hundreds of miles under construction, the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is warning that shutting down construction could cost taxpayers billions.
The Trump administration this week marked 450 miles of wall built at the southern border, and acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters earlier this week that a total of 800 miles is funded.
“So in addition to the 450 that we’ve already got on the ground, we’ve got funded 350 miles of wall system to go in the ground,” he said. “The overwhelming amount of those miles, that funding, the contracts have already been awarded.”
However, the wall faces a grim future under Biden, who has promised that not “another foot” would be built. It seems unlikely, therefore, that he will allow a new 350 miles – nearly equal the amount of wall built under his predecessor.
But Morgan warned that canceling projects at this point would cost the U.S. taxpayer.
“It’ll cost taxpayers billions of dollars, billions of dollars in settlement fees,” he said. “We’re going to walk away from areas of the wall that have already been constructed.”
“There are going to be some areas where, let’s say we’ve already started to dig a trench and put some rebar in there, we’re actually going to have to stop and pay extra to have them remove the rebar and fill in the trench,” he said.