OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
A new poll found that, for a change, a decision that President Joe Biden has made actually resonates with a big majority of Americans.
Though he said last week that he does not believe “walls work” along the U.S.-Mexico border, his administration’s decision to restart construction of a wall that began under former President Donald Trump is, politically, a winner.
Rasmussen Reports noted in a survey published late in the week that fully 73 percent of likely voters back restarting border wall construction, a decision that was announced by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas,” Mayorkas said.
Of course, this comes after several million migrants have been allowed to illegally cross the border and remain in the country after Biden, on day one in office, reversed the vast majority of Trump’s immigration and border security policies which led to some of the lowest levels of illegal entries and drug smuggling in decades.
And, naturally, the decision to restart wall construction comes as a growing majority of Americans are fed up with rampant illegal immigration and as Trump begins to lap Biden in several major national polls.
The Washington Times reported last week that Mayorkas is waiving “26 federal laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Eagle Protection Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act” to facilitate new wall construction.
In the Rasmussen poll, 61 percent of respondents said yes when they were asked whether “the Biden administration’s decision to allow border wall construction proves that Donald Trump was right about the need for a border wall.”
Border Patrol arrests of suspects on the FBI’s terror watchlist at the southern border:
FY’23 – 151 (so far).
FY’22 – 98
FY’21 – 15
FY’20 – 3
FY’19 – 0
FY’18 – 6
FY’17 – 2
There have also been over 1.5 million *known* gotaways since start of 2021, enough to fill 16 Rose Bowls.
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) October 9, 2023
“Eighty percent (80%) of voters believe the issue of immigration will be important in the 2024 presidential election, including 52% who think it will be Very Important. Just 16% say immigration won’t be an important issue in the election,” the poll added.
That said, not everyone believes that Biden is serious about allowing more wall construction.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said late last week that he doubted Biden was serious after his American counterpart told reporters he had no choice but to do so to remain in compliance with a congressional spending bill from the Trump era.
“It’s pure publicity,” Lopez Obrador said in a regular morning press conference after the Biden administration announced it would build additional sections of border wall, carrying forward a signature policy of the Trump administration, Reuters reported.
AMLO’s remarks came after a “high-ranking delegation of U.S. officials met Thursday with their Mexican counterparts, among them U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken,” Reuters said.
“They don’t want to (build more sections of the wall), that’s what they told us,” Lopez Obrador noted.
Biden earlier said the funds were appropriated by Congress, and as such, he could not, by law or the Constitution, redirect them elsewhere.
AMLO added that in talks held the previous day, the Mexican delegation told the U.S. officials his country “does not believe (additional border wall construction) to be the answer to the migration problem.”
“We’ve always spoken about tending to the root causes,” Lopez Obrador said.
Also last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had difficulty answering NBC White House reporter Peter Alexander’s line of questions when he pressed her after the Department of Homeland Security said that new “barriers” were needed along the southwestern border — a “wall,” according to some — as President Biden himself said “walls don’t work.”
Biden had previously told reporters that despite his personal beliefs, he nevertheless “defended his administration’s decision to waive 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow for construction of roughly 20 miles of additional border wall, saying he had no choice but to use the Trump-era funding for the barrier to stop illegal migration from Mexico,” the Associated Press reported.