President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
AFP

US President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) rescinded the emergency order used by former President Donald Trump to justify the construction of the US-Mexico border wall, announced the White House.

"I have determined that the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border was unwarranted," Biden wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reported The Hill.

"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," he added.

Trump had first floated the idea of a border wall on the campaign trail in 2016, repeatedly insisting that Mexico would pay for its construction. However, illegal immigration increased in Trump's four years.

However, in early 2020, Customs and Border Protection reported it had found USD 11 billion in funding for the wall, The Hill reported.

The proclamation is a final step from Biden after issuing an executive order on day one ordering a pause on all border wall construction.

The national emergency at the border in early 2019 after repeatedly butting heads with lawmakers over funding for the project. The move landed his administration in court, as environmental groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenged USD 2.5 billion in Department of Defense spending that had been diverted to complete construction, according to The Hill.

The letter was welcomed by members of Congress long opposed to the wall who argued a physical barrier would do little to address immigration or security concerns.

"Trump's national emergency was never about security... It was about stealing money to fund a monument to his racist policies along the Southern Border. Now we must cancel the contracts & ensure that not another foot of border wall is constructed," Representative Raul Grijalva tweeted.

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