The Biden administration announced on Tuesday that it plans to close gaps in the physical barrier along the southwest border and fix other issues on the border wall to address safety and environmental concerns as the nation sees a record-breaking number of border crossings.
The new work projects on the border wall, authorized by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, will take place in Arizona, California, and Texas, reported ABC News.
In addition to closing physical gaps along the border wall, the Biden administration also plans to install drainage systems, add safety features to roadways, and remediate some construction sites.
Construction crews will also finish building roads and work on environmental issues regarding the wall, the department added.
“Prior to work, the Department of Homeland Security will work closely with stakeholders, including impacted landowners, tribal, state, and local elected officials, and federal agencies to seek input and help on prioritizing potential remediation activities within each Sector,” the department said in a statement.
Border Patrol agents claim that they are seeing a surge of undocumented migrants at the southern border. So far in the Fiscal Year 2023, which began in October, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have intercepted more than 485,000 migrants. Officials expect to hit the half-a-million mark this weekend.
The rise in border crossings comes as the Trump-era immigration policy Title 42 is expected to end within the next week. Under the policy, officials could rapidly expel migrants without letting them seek asylum to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus within the U.S.
Border Patrol agents have stressed the importance of having a complete border wall and tightening security around the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent unauthorized migration.