Thousands of tons of steel and heavy equipment stand idle along the country’s southern border as legions of migrants exploit holes in the fence left by President Biden’s decision to halt construction.
Smugglers send groups of asylum seekers through the gaps to overwhelm the agents. When agents leave to intercept or apprehend one group, another group scampers across.
Biden issued his stop work order days after entering office in January. He gave Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas 60 days to report back – either continue, modify or terminate the contracts. So far Mayorkas is a week past his deadline.
Meanwhile, the tab footed by taxpayers keeps running up. No work is getting done and experts say canceling those valid contracts – while legal – costs a million dollars a month and the government could end up paying more to cancel the contracts than complete them.
“The contractor hasn’t stopped receiving money, even though they’re not working for two months. The contractors are being paid because they have resources, workers, equipment, materials that can’t be redeployed because they’re still on contract to build a project,” said Associated General Contractors of America’s Brian Turnmail.
“The government is paying contractors up to a million dollars a month to be on standby. That’s going to the total cost. So, if the government takes a long time to resolve the dispute, that will cost taxpayers more.”
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Comic by A.F. Branco