"Consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) border barrier plan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), intends to cancel the remaining border barrier contracts located within U.S. Border Patrol’s (USBP) Laredo Sector and all border barrier contracts located in the Rio Grande Valley Sector," DHS state in a press release.
The release added that the Border Patrol "will then begin environmental planning and actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for previously planned border barrier system projects located within the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Centro Sectors." Those actions "will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition."
DHS also called on Congress to cancel existing border wall funding.
"The Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border," the statement said. "Until and unless Congress cancels those funds, the law requires DHS to use the funds consistent with their appropriated purpose, and beginning environmental planning activities is part of the Department’s plan to do so."
The news prompted critical responses from Republicans who have been consistently calling on President Biden to address the surge of migrants in the border that has resulted in over 1 million encounters between the border patrol and illegal immigrants this year.
"DHS Secretary Mayorkas, during a border crisis, is cancelling border wall contracts," Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted in response to the DHS announcement. "Impeach Mayorkas."
"As DHS reportedly prepares for up to 400,000 illegal border crossings this month alone, the Biden admin CANCELS BORDER WALL CONTRACTS in the busiest southern border sector," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Communication Director Christopher Gilmartin posted on Twitter with the hashtag "#BidenBorderCrisis."
"Leave it to Biden and his team to cancel border contracts for ‘environmental reasons’ when we have a 21-year high of illegal crossers," Republican Sen. James Lankford tweeted. "It is obvious that they do not want to stop illegal immigration. Everyone sees what’s going on at the border except for this Administration."
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.