He favors a technological wall using biometric data, surveillance, artificial intelligence, drones, facial recognition, cameras and radar. Expect this to start at the border and spread into the country. High-tech border control in a constitution free zone.
President Joe Biden will sign a number of immigration-related executive actions today continuing his reversals of former President Donald Trump’s harsh policies toward undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees as part the new administration’s effort to pursue a more humanitarian approach to immigration and border enforcement.
However, at least one of Biden’s proposals suggests that while he rejects Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” approach, he favors a different kind of “wall”: a ramping up of technology-driven surveillance at the border.
Biden terminated Trump’s national emergency declaration at the southern border and ordered a pause on all construction work on Trump’s wall on his first day — to the relief of border communities like those in Laredo, Texas, fighting to protect their lands and cultural heritage.
Still, Biden’s newly unveiled U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 provides clues to how he is likely to address border enforcement going forward, as construction machinery at the southern border sits idle. Instead of a steel barrier, Biden’s legislative proposal would deploy even more technology to the border, accelerating the creation of a “smart” wall powered by biometric data, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, aerial drones, infrared cameras, motion sensors and radar.
The legislation’s full text has yet to be released, but a fact sheet contains a section titled “Supplement existing border resources with technology and infrastructure,” which says the bill “builds on record budget allocations for immigration enforcement by authorizing additional funding for the Secretary of DHS to develop and implement a plan to deploy technology to expedite screening” and “enhance the ability to process asylum seekers.”
Additionally, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on January 21 that Biden’s approach to border security will be “multi-pronged. It is to do smart security — security that will help address and use technology to address key border crossings, address ports of entry more effectively and efficiently, and putting that oversight in the hands of the [DHS].”
Biden and other border-area Democrats like Laredo Rep. Henry Cuellar have long favored a “virtual” wall over a physical barrier. In fact, Biden’s campaign immigration plan blasted Trump for failing to “invest in smarter border technology” and promised to invest in “cameras, sensors, large-scale x-ray machines, and fixed towers” at the southern border.