Republicans Mock Biden After Filling Gaps in Trump's Border Wall Approved

President Joe Biden was criticized by Republicans on social media Friday after news emerged that his administration had approved construction that would fill gaps in the incomplete border wall near Yuma, Arizona.

Construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall began during former President Donald Trump's administration, but Biden quickly ordered a pause after he took office in 2021. On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection to close four gaps in a border barrier project near the Morelos Dam in the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma Sector.

The projects are meant to "address operational impacts, as well as immediate life and safety risks, and will be funded with DHS's Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations," the DHS said in a press release.

The DHS initially announced late last year that it planned to close small gaps in the border wall, as well as make adjustments to prevent flooding and finish earlier construction of access roads, after determining that more work on the project was needed, CNN reported. The newly authorized construction near Yuma appears to fulfill these plans in part, but Republicans quickly condemned Biden for the move.

"The Biden Administration just quietly approved construction of a border wall near Yuma, AZ," Ryan Fournier, founder of Students for Trump, tweeted Friday. "Remember when Biden attacked Trump over the wall? Walls work!"

Biden Approves Border Wall Funding
President Joe Biden was criticized by Republicans on social media Friday after news emerged that his administration had approved construction that would fill gaps on the incomplete border wall near Yuma, Arizona. Above, the border wall is illuminated at night between the U.S. and Mexico in Yuma, Arizona on June 1, 2022. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"So the Biden Admin has decided to finish the Trump border wall in Arizona...even after they said walls are racist and walls don't work," said the Hodgetwins, a duo of comedians and conservative political commentators made up of twin brothers Keith Hodge and Kevin Hodge.

Newsweek was not immediately able to find an instance where Biden specifically called the border wall racist. But before he was elected, he wrote an op-ed for the Miami Herald in 2019 in which he said: "At a time when the challenges we face demand a united, regional response, Trump repeatedly invokes racist invective to describe anyone south of the Rio Grande, including calling migrants 'animals.'"

In the op-ed, Biden also wrote that it was important that the U.S. secure its borders "but 'build the wall' is a slogan divorced from reality.

"It won't stop the flow of illegal narcotics or human trafficking, both of which come primarily through legal ports of entry," he continued. "Nor will it stop asylum seekers fleeing the most desperate conditions imaginable, and who have the right to have their cases heard. Nor will it stem the numbers of undocumented, most of whom over-stay legal visas."

Representative Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, said the Biden administration's construction approval comes at a time of low support for the president among Hispanic voters.

"After Hispanic support for President Biden craters to 26% approval, he suddenly wants to complete the border wall," Clyde tweeted.

His tweet was an apparent reference to a Quinnipiac University poll, published in April, which found that 26 percent of surveyed Hispanic voters approved of Biden's job performance.

Newsweek reached out to Clyde's office for confirmation that the 26 percent he mentioned came from the Quinnipiac survey. The White House was also contacted for comment.