Fact check: Biden executive order halts border wall construction, redirects funding

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Jessica Hill, USA TODAY
·4 min read
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The claim: President Joe Biden signed an executive order to tear down the border wall built during the Trump administration.

After President Joe Biden signed an executive order Jan. 20 regarding the miles of border wall under construction during the Trump administration, some took to Facebook to claim — inaccurately — that Biden will tear down the wall.

A Facebook user by the name of Giggle Palooza posted Jan. 24, “Just seen where Biden signed an Executive Order to tear down the border wall. You all happy now?”

Since it was published, the post has received more than 3,000 interactions and more than 2,900 comments, many pointing out that the post is false. The Facebook user has not responded to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

More: Fact check: Posts criticizing Biden order on gender discrimination lack context

What the border wall executive order said

The claim is referring to Biden’s executive order that ended border wall construction projects and will redirect the project funds elsewhere.

In his proclamation, Biden wrote that the government would no longer divert taxpayer dollars to construct a border wall. It is one of several executive actions the president signed since taking office on Jan. 20.

“Like every nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people against threats,” he wrote. “But building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution. It is a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats to our homeland security.”

Biden’s executive order paused work on each construction project on the southern border wall within seven days and paused the obligation of funds related to the construction of that wall. He also rescinded former President Donald Trump’s national declaration of emergency at the southern border from February 2019.

The order also calls for compiling detailed information on all southern border wall construction contracts, the completion status of each wall construction project, and the funds used for wall construction since Feb. 15, 2019.

President Donald Trump promised a "big, beautiful wall" along the U.S.-Mexican border.
President Donald Trump promised a "big, beautiful wall" along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as other department heads, will develop a plan for the redirection of funds concerning the southern border wall, the executive order states.

The plan will be developed within 60 days; those Cabinet secretaries will then take steps to either resume, modify or terminate projects.

The executive order makes no mention of tearing down the border wall.

Will the existing wall be taken down?

Even in the past, Biden has made it clear he has no intention of tearing down existing border walls. In August, Biden told NPR that he would end construction of the border wall, but he would not tear down the parts of the barrier that were built during the Trump administration.

“There will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration,” he said.

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Even so, some environmental groups have called upon Biden to tear down some newer parts of the wall, saying areas of construction damaged the environment, according to Arizona’s Family and Scientific American.

Our ruling: Missing context

The claim that President Joe Biden signed an executive order to tear down the border wall built during the Trump administration is MISSING CONTEXT. Biden signed an executive order to stop all projects and redirect funding away from border wall construction. He has said he would not tear down the existing wall along the nation's southern border.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Biden order pauses Trump border wall construction, funding