The announcement follows an executive order signed by President Joe Biden in February that ended a national emergency declaration at the border imposed by former President Donald Trump. In addition, in January, Biden signed an order suspending all construction of the firewall.
Trump announced a national emergency in February 2019 to redirect $600 million from the Treasury Department and $6.1 billion from the Defense Department to the Department of Homeland Security for border wall building.
“Consistent with the president’s proclamation, the Department of Defense is proceeding with canceling all border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for other military missions and functions such as schools for military children, overseas military construction projects in partner nations, and the National Guard and Reserve equipment account,” said Jamal Brown, deputy Pentagon spokesman.
“DOD has begun taking all necessary actions to cancel border barrier projects and to coordinate with interagency partners. Today’s action reflects this administration’s continued commitment to defending our nation and supporting our service members and their families.”
The Pentagon stated that by cancelling the contract, funds would be diverted to postponed military building programmes, “allowing some of these critical efforts to move forwards as soon as possible.” The department stated that it is evaluating programmes to decide whether should be prioritised.
Along the 1,954-mile southern fence, the Trump administration constructed nearly 450 miles of wall, the majority of which was expansion or demolition of existing walls.