President Biden on Thursday officially informed Congress that he has revoked the previous administration’s national emergency declaration for the border, recapturing Pentagon money that President Trump had diverted toward border wall construction.
Mr. Biden also said he has ordered a review of money Congress specifically did allocate towards the wall, with an eye toward canceling that too.
In his letter to Congress, he said Mr. Trump’s original declaration was “unwarranted.”
Mr. Biden had previously announced the revocation, but Thursday marked his official notice to leaders on Capitol Hill.
The move comes as the country is beginning a new debate on immigration amid signs of a migrant surge along the U.S.-Mexico boundary.
“I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted,” the president said. “I have also announced that it shall be the policy of my administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall, and that I am directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to that end.”
Mr. Trump had used the emergency declaration, first issued in 2019, after Congress only spent a fraction of what he wanted for his border wall.
Under the declaration, billions of dollars were taken from Pentagon accounts and used to construct a wall, roads and other infrastructure that border patrol agents say is helpful in shaping the flow of migrants.