Biden bashed by members of his own party after border wall flip-flop

Washington DC - President Joe Biden's decision to waive 26 environmental laws to accelerate construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border has been strongly criticized by some Democratic lawmakers.

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on the Biden administration to address the root causes of migration instead of building a border wall.
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called on the Biden administration to address the root causes of migration instead of building a border wall.  © Leonardo Munoz / AFP

"The Biden administration was not required to expand construction of the border wall – and they certainly were not required to waive several environmental laws to expedite the building. The President needs to take responsibility for this decision and reverse course," New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has endorsed Biden's campaign for reelection, said in a statement.

"A wall does nothing to deter people who are fleeing poverty and violence from coming to the United States," she continued.

"Walls only serve to push migrants into more remote areas, increasing their chances of death. It is a cruel policy."

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The congresswoman instead urged the administration to address the root causes of migration, revisit policy toward Latin American countries, end harmful sanctions against Venezuela, and prioritize comprehensive immigration reform.

The Democrats speaking out against Biden border wall decision

Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva has called on the Biden administration to reverse course on its decision to fast-track construction of the border wall.
Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva has called on the Biden administration to reverse course on its decision to fast-track construction of the border wall.  © ALEX EDELMAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva agreed: "Whether their hands are tied or not, the Biden administration's decision to build more wall is antithetical to the values they have promised to uphold for the American people. And their decision to be the first Democratic administration to use the waiver authority is deeply troubling. I urge them to reverse course and rescind the waiver."

Even Texas Representative Henry Cuellar, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress, has slammed the Biden administration's decision: "A border wall is a 14th-century solution to a 21st-century problem. It will not bolster border security in Starr County," he told the Associated Press. "I continue to stand against the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars on an ineffective border wall."

The Biden administration waived dozens of federal laws – including the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Farmland Protection Policy Act – to allow for new border wall construction, which would have devastating impacts for migrants and precious natural areas.

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The president claimed he had no other choice in the matter, saying that Congress had appropriated the money and his administration had to follow through. Opponents pointed out that this does not explain why the administration chose to waive dozens of federal laws without even putting up a fight.

When running for president, the 80-year-old promised there would not be "another foot of wall constructed" under his leadership.

Cover photo: Collage: Brendan Smialowski / AFP, LEONARDO MUNOZ / AFP & ALEX EDELMAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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