Biden Is Expanding the Border Wall


Confronted with a surge of migrants, the Biden administration has decided to waive more than 20 federal laws and regulations, including environmental ones, to build barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. The move is a remarkable reversal for a president who campaigned vociferously against a wall and halted its construction on his first day in office.

President Biden said today that he still believed that the border wall was ineffective, but he insisted that he had no choice but to use money that was already appropriated for the wall’s construction. The homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, argued that there was “an acute and immediate need” for the barriers “in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States.”

The move is one of the starkest signs yet of the challenges Biden is wrestling with, as humanitarian crises across the world drive more migrants to the border, and while a deeply divided Congress leaves in place an outdated, dysfunctional immigration system.

News that the wall would be expanded broke as three members of Biden’s cabinet were traveling to Mexico for meetings with the country’s leader on a host of issues, including migration and border security. Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, denounced the new construction, saying it stands “contrary” to what Biden had been arguing.

The Republican meltdown that toppled the House speaker this week has highlighted a sharp decline in G.O.P. support for continuing to send aid to Ukraine. A small group of rebellious House Republicans joined with Democrats to remove Kevin McCarthy after accusing him of making a “secret side deal” with Biden over funding for Kyiv. And now opposition to aid has become a key issue in the race to replace McCarthy, making clear that the right-wing message is gaining momentum among Republicans.

The shift is striking for a party that has long defined itself by a belief in a muscular U.S. military defending democracy around the world. Republican intransigence could greatly hamper the ability of the Biden administration to fulfill its promise to support the Ukrainian military for the long haul.

For the last year, the Biden administration has been working to restrict China’s access to semiconductor technology. Now the administration is drafting additional limits on Beijing’s ability to make modern-day weapons.

But their efforts have been delayed by complaints from Nvidia, Intel and Qualcomm, three of the world’s largest chip makers. The companies have warned that cutting sales to China would gut their businesses and ultimately derail the administration’s plan to build new semiconductor factories in the U.S.

The Nobel Prize in Literature, widely considered to be the most prestigious prize in the field, was awarded to the Norwegian novelist and playwright Jon Fosse. He is best known for an 800-page, seven-novel series with no sentence breaks, and was lauded by the Swedish Academy for his “plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.”

Although his plays are widely staged on the continent, they rarely make a dent in London or New York, and Anglo-Saxon audiences can find them obtuse. For those new to Fosse, we have a guide to his work.

In a film industry dominated by soundstages or computer-generated imagery, Jack Fisk stands apart.

Since the 1970s, he has been one of Hollywood’s most sought-after collaborators — legendary among writer-directors for his ability to help them realize their most ambitious projects. He prefers to build his sets from scratch, with exacting historical detail, and brings the past to life through a composition of landscapes, buildings, paint and props.

Fisk’s latest triumph: Martin Scorsese’s much anticipated feature “Killers of the Flower Moon,” where he created a replica of a 1920s boomtown.

The volume is cranked up, theme songs from early 2000s Disney Channel hits are playing, and people are dancing. No, the setting is not a living room in 2006. It’s a bar in 2023.

From Disney Channel bops to Nickelodeon theme songs, tween pop from the 2000s is proving to be an unironic draw at parties across the country. For many adults, songs from Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers and the Cheetah Girls represent a less complicated time of childhood innocence.

“Whenever I hear that music, I forget that I’m an adult,” one 24-year-old partygoer said.

Have a youthful evening.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew

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