Enough steel to construct 100 miles of border wall – about $100 million worth – is lying unused as another 60,000 migrants head to the already overwhelmed U.S.-Mexico frontier.
About 10,000 steel panels, worth about $5,000 each, are turning to rust in Pharr, Texas, said Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin in a report highlighted by the Blaze.
“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.
Panels at another location, Melugin said, bring the total value of the unused materials to more than $100 million.
Meanwhile, a caravan of migrants, mostly Haitians who have been living in South America, are making their way through the dangerous Darien Gap in Colombia, en route to the United States, reports Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins.
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Melugin was at the border in La Joya, Texas, where only a half mile of wall was built and people pass freely across the border.
“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.”
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
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in compliance with an order from Biden, announced Friday the cancellation of border wall construction in the Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors of Texas.
President Trump diverted more than $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.
Melugin said undermanned border agents “tell us they really need the wall here.”
“They’re incredibly frustrated.”
Former Biden Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott told Fox News that U.S. taxpayers are paying millions of dollars daily “to not” build a wall.
At one point, contractors were receiving $5 million a day even though wall construction had been canceled.
“Many of those projects today are just still on hold, so we’re paying contractors. For a while, it was almost $5 million a day between [Department of Defense] and [Department of Homeland Security] to not build the border wall,” he said in an interview with Bret Baier.
Scott noted the “stacks and stacks of border wall panels,” “hundreds of miles of fiber optic cabling” and “hundreds of cameras” that are just “sitting there” in places where Trump had order wall construction.
The contractors are now paid mostly to guard construction materials.
Scott said he warned the new administration that reversing Trump’s immigration policies would result in “an influx of mass migration that we would not be able to control.”
“It was very clear there are people involved in this process that have been involved before, and they’re choosing not to take simple, commonsense steps to secure the border,” he said.
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