The Claim: President Joe Biden signed an executive order to demolish the border wall that was erected during the Trump administration.
After President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 20 over the mile-long border wall that was under construction during the Trump administration, some took to Facebook to claim – falsely – that Biden was going to tear the wall down.
A Facebook user named Giggle Palooza wrote on January 24th: “I just saw where Biden signed an executive order to demolish the border wall. Are you all happy now? ”
Since its publication, the post has received more than 3,000 interactions and more than 2,900 comments, many of which indicate the post is incorrect. The Facebook user did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
More: Fact check: Posts that criticize the Biden order for gender discrimination have no context
What the Border Wall Executive Order said
The claim relates to Biden’s executive order, which ended border wall construction projects and diverted project funds to another location.
In his proclamation, Biden wrote that the government would no longer divert taxpayers money for building a border wall. It is one of several executive actions the President has signed since taking office on January 20.
“Like any nation, the United States has a right and a duty to secure its borders and protect its people from threats,” he wrote. “However, building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious political solution. It is a waste of money that distracts attention from real threats to our homeland security. ”
Biden’s Executive Order suspended work on each construction project on the southern boundary wall within seven days and suspended funding related to the construction of that wall. From February 2019, he also lifted former President Donald Trump’s national declaration of emergency on the southern border.
The contract also provides for the compilation of detailed information on all construction contracts for southern boundary walls, the completion status of each wall construction project and the funds used for wall construction since February 15, 2019.
The Defense and Homeland Security Secretaries, as well as other department heads, will develop a plan for diverting funds in relation to the southern border wall, the executive order states.
The plan will be developed within 60 days; These cabinet secretaries will then take steps to either continue, amend, or terminate projects.
There is no mention in the executive order that the border wall was demolished.
Will the existing wall be torn down?
In the past, too, Biden has made it clear that he does not intend to tear down existing border walls. In August, Biden told NPR that he would finish building the border wall, but would not tear down portions of the barrier erected during the Trump administration.
“There won’t be another foot of the wall on my administration,” he said.
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Even so, some environmental groups have asked Biden to tear down some newer sections of the wall. Construction areas have harmed the environment, according to Arizonas Family and Scientific American.
Our verdict: lack of context
Claiming that President Joe Biden signed an executive order to demolish the border wall that was erected during the Trump administration is MISSING CONTEXT. Biden signed an executive order to stop all projects and divert funding away from building the border wall. He said he would not tear down the existing wall along the nation’s southern border.
Our fact-checking sources:
- White House Briefing – Proclamation to End the Emergency Relating to the United States Southern Border and Divert Funds Diverted to Building Border Walls
- Washington Post, Jan. 20: “Biden orders a break in the construction of the border wall to bring the crews to a standstill.”
- Associated Press, Jan. 21, “Joe Biden Stops Building Border Wall After Donald Trump’s Last Upswing”
- NPR, Aug 5, 2020, “Biden would finish building border wall but not tear down Trump’s additions”
- Arizona’s family, December 10, 2020, “Environmental groups want Biden to tear down parts of the new border wall”
- Scientific American, Jan. 25, “Some environmental damage from Trump’s precipitated border wall could be repaired.”
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Our fact-checking is partly supported by a grant from Facebook.