by: Anna Wiernicki and Jaclyn Ramkissoon
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse numerous immigration and border security policies when he is sworn in, including halting the construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall.
“Within 100 days, I am going to send to United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people,” Biden said during a presidential debate.
Since then, Biden says he plans to restore protections for people illegally brought to the U.S. as minors and stop using Pentagon funds to build a border wall.
“This definitely isn’t going to be easy for the Biden administration,” said Policy Analyst Sarah Pierce with the Migration Policy Institute.
Pierce says ending wall construction could actually be more expensive.
“The Trump administration has signed a lot of contracts with companies to build sections of the border wall. So they are going to have to terminate those contracts, which can come with significant fees,” Pierce explained. “So even not building any more walls under a Biden administration might have some significant costs.”
Several of the Trump administration’s immigration policies are being challenged in court, so reversing those policies will take time. Pierce says rolling back all of the Trump administration’s policies seems unlikely.
“The Biden administration just isn’t going to be able to pour in the same number of resources that the Trump administration did to immigration,” she said. “They just have so much else going on with the pandemic and health care, climate change, racial injustice.”
Since Trump took office, 400 miles of new and replacement border wall has gone up. Biden says he doesn’t plan to tear down any existing walls.