Most Of The Wall Isn’t ‘wall’ At All
As well as scaling back his ambitions for the length of the border barrier, Mr Trump has also changed his view of what constitutes a wall.
Throughout his 2016 election campaign, when he described it, he talked about concrete.
But once elected, he began referring to a barrier made of steel, which would enable border agents to see through it.
And what has been built so far is mostly such steel fencing.
Specifically, much of the current wave of construction is 18-30ft reinforced bollard fencing, according to a report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.
“It poses a formidable barrier, but it is not the high, thick masonry structure that most dictionaries term a ‘wall’,” the report states.
However, the report adds that while the new barriers may not be made of concrete and in many cases replace existing structures, they do pose “a new obstacle that changes the calculus of those attempting to cross the border between ports of entry”.
Having said that, although Mr Trump’s barriers are not themselves made of concrete, they have been constructed using a significant amount of it, according to CBP.
Some 774,000 cubic yards of concrete have been used in construction so far, alongside 539,000 tonnes of steel.
A Timeline Of The Trump Administrations Coronavirus Actions
Travel restrictions, lack of tests, contradicting claims: These are some of the major actions by the US president.
The administration of United States President Donald Trump has faced its greatest challenge in 2020: The coronavirus pandemic and the disease it causes, COVID-19.
Since emerging in China at the end of 2019, the virus has spread all over the world. The US now leads the globe in the pandemics spread, with almost 830,000 cases and 46,000 deaths as of April 21.
The administrations response has been widespread, ranging from downplaying the crisis to enormous bailouts. It has also been the subject of much criticism, with Trump taking to his daily briefings to defend his response, often making contradictory claims.
Here is a timeline of key actions taken by the Trump administration related to its response to the virus within the US:
Trump Is Invoking The Defense Production Act To Produce Key Medical Supplies
Trump said that he is invoking the Defense Production Act, a wartime law that would allow the government to harness the private sector to produce medical equipment necessary to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The government will be targeting production of medical masks, including N-95 masks, that can help protect health personnel from contracting the virus, as well as ventilators to help patients with acute symptoms breathe. The government has ordered millions of masks, but the US will need millions more, Trump said.
The US currently has more than 10,000 ventilators, and the Pentagon has offered up some of their own, but the administration anticipates needing thousands more.
We have tremendous numbers of ventilators, but theres never been an instance like this where no matter what you have, its never enough, he said. This is a very unforeseen thing.
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Claim: There’s An Approved Treatment For Covid
The president has promoted an anti-malaria drug as an approved treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“The hydroxychloroquine and the Z-pack, I think, as a combination, probably, it’s looking very, very good,” Trump said during a news briefing March 23. He called the pair of medicines a “drug that got approved in record-setting time.”
There’s some early evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine decades-old drugs used to prevent malaria and treat rheumatic diseases might help patients fight off the virus, particularly when paired with the antibiotic azithromycin, commonly known as a Z-Pack.
But it’s not an “approved” treatment for the coronavirus, according to the Food and Drug Administration, or even a fully vetted option, according to one of Trump’s top scientists.
“The information that you’re referring to specifically is anecdotal. It was not done in a controlled clinical trial. So, you really can’t make any definitive statement about it,” the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said during the same news conference.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the FDA, also said in March that the agency wants “a large, pragmatic clinical trial” to see whether the drug “actually benefits patients.”
A nationwide trial to determine whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent the disease in exposed persons is underway, NPR reported March 31.
Donald Trump The Migrant Caravan And A Manufactured Crisis At The Us Border
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Since last weeks midterm elections, Donald Trump has spoken less frequently about the migrant caravan, but the subject is still plainly on his mind. On Friday, he signed a Presidential proclamation , which suspended the possibility of asylum for anyone entering the country between officially designated ports of entry. By U.S. and international law, migrants are allowed to seek asylum whether or not they do so at an official checkpoint along the border Trumps measure, which was immediately challenged by advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, aims to override explicit provisions of an existing federal statute in order to thwart the entry of tens of thousands of Central American migrants. As Lee Gelernt, the A.C.L.U.s lead litigator in the case, told me, It would mean the President could literally sit down with a copy of the immigration act that Congress wrote and cross out any provision he didnt like.
Trump scared us, Mejía told me. But we got to Tijuana, and it wasnt like what Trump said on TV. The border was limpia, he told meby which he meant, free of American troops. As part of a dramatic, preëlection gambit, the President sent fifty-six hundred soldiers to south Texas, hundreds of miles from where the caravan was headed. Since then, the soldiers had very little to do other than set up a patchwork of wire fencing along the border.
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The Wall Helped Stop Covid
Trump’s comments: “In Tijuana and various parts of Mexico, the COVID … the invisible enemy has been very tough on Mexico. And we have areas along the border where we’re in great shape because of right there, because of that . We’re in great shape but on the other side, in Mexico, they’re suffering greatly with the virus.”
Fact check: Mexico has indeed been one of the hardest hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government in Mexico City reported 1.5 million confirmed cases and more than 134,000 deaths as of Tuesday evening. But access to testing and treatment is limited so the number of cases is widely believed to be much higher.
Additionally, several border cities on both sides of the border continue to be epicenters of the disease, regardless of the physical barriers between them. For example, the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez binational urban area was ravaged by COVID-19 in the fall.
In Arizona, the border cities of Nogales and Yuma continue having the worst infection rates within the state, while their sister cities in Sonora, Nogales and San Luis Rio Colorado respectively, remain epicenters as well.
The border wall has almost no impact on stopping COVID-19 because thousands of people cross the border each day legally at one of the 48 border crossings between the two countries.
Trump Closes Us Borders Immigration Grinds To A Halt
President Trump plans to seal off the U.S-Mexico border to migrants under a law intended to protect the country from communicable disease. The border with Canada is closed to non-essential travel.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Borders across the world are closing because of the coronavirus pandemic. The European Union this week all but walled off the continent from the rest of the world. Now the Trump administration is taking extreme measures, sharply limiting travelers from Canada. The U.S. government has also slowed the processing of immigrants who are already here. NPR’s John Burnett covers immigration. He is with us from Austin, Texas. Good morning, John.
JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: Good morning, David.
GREENE: Can we start with the northern border between the United States and Canada? What is the latest there?
BURNETT: Well, President Trump said yesterday that, by mutual consent, the U.S. and Canada will halt all nonessential traffic across the world’s longest international border. Both governments are now saying citizens should return home as soon as possible. So it looks like cross-border visits to family and friends or zipping over to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side are over for the time being. Here’s the president at a midday press conference yesterday.
GREENE: Well, I mean, we’ve been hearing for months about asylum-seekers who are stuck in Mexico waiting for their asylum cases to be resolved. How will this affect them and their lives here?
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Pence Ordered Borders Closed After Cdc Experts Refused
NEW YORK Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nations top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the U.S. borders, overruling the agencys scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow the coronavirus, according to two former health officials. The action has so far caused nearly 150,000 children and adults to be expelled from the country.
The top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doctor who oversees these types of orders had refused to comply with a Trump administration directive saying there was no valid public health reason to issue it, according to three people with direct knowledge of the doctors refusal.
But Stephen Miller, a top aide to President Donald Trump who has been a vocal opponent of immigration, pushed for the expulsion order.
Can Trump Legally Close The Southern Border
The Justice Department declined to comment on the legality of closing the border or any portion of it, as described in the Presidentâs tweet. The Justice Department also declined to comment on whether the Office of Legal Counsel has issued an opinion.
Though border closures are rare, theyâre not unprecedented. For example, in 1985, the abduction of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and subsequent threats against customs agents prompted then-President Ronald Reagan, in agreement with the Mexican government, to close nine border crossings on the southern border.
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The Department Of Housing And Urban Development Will Suspend Some Foreclosures And Evictions
The social distancing and quarantines meant to fight the virus are proving devastating to entire industries, including restaurants and hospitality, and could leave workers in those fields and hourly workers unable to pay their bills.
To alleviate the financial burden on homeowners affected by the virus, Trump said that the federal government is suspending foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.
It wasnt immediately clear who would be covered by the suspension, though it will reportedly apply only to homeowners with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which underwrites affordable home loans issued by private lenders. The Federal Housing Finance Agency separately announced on Wednesday that it would similarly suspend foreclosures and evictions for those with mortgages underwritten by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
Donald Trump Secures About $16 Billion For Border Barriers
President Donald Trump has secured $1.57 billion for barriers along the southwest border advancing his promise to secure the border but falling significantly short of his desired $25 billion for a wall.
“We funded the initial down payment of $1.6 billion,” Trump said March 23 after signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law. “We are going to be starting work literally on Monday on not only on some new wall, not enough, but we are working on that very quickly. But also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences.”
The funds, however, won’t be used to construct any of the wall prototypes standing in California near the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump toured earlier this month.
The designated funds, the bill said, “shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, , such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection told PolitiFact on March 13, 2018, that the wall prototypes were still being evaluated.
The bill Trump signed specifically called for:
$251 million for approximately 14 miles of secondary fencing along the southwest border in the San Diego sector
$445 million for 25 miles of primary pedestrian levee fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector
$196 million for primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector
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Trump To Partially Close Us
Trump said he’s concerned ‘unvetted’ migrants will spread the coronavirus, despite the limited number of cases south of the border.
U.S. and Mexican officials have been in talks this week over how to ensure that trade and essential travel is not disrupted at the border. | Patricio Espinoza/AP Photo
03/20/2020 02:03 PM EDT
President Donald Trump announced Friday that the U.S. and Mexico have agreed to temporarily close the border to nonessential travel to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
U.S. and Mexican officials have been in talks this week over how to work together in responding to the global pandemic while ensuring that bilateral trade and essential travel are not disrupted at the border. Its a similar move to the U.S. and Canadas decision on Wednesday to impose travel restrictions at the northern U.S. border.
Both countries know the importance of working together to limit the spread of the virus and ensure the commerce that supports our economy continues to keep flowing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a White House press conference. The United States is glad to have a friend that is working side-by-side with us in the fight.”
The U.S.’ agreement with Mexico and Canada to restrict nonessential travel will go into effect on Saturday.
Trump tied the partial border closure to his concern over the thousands of unscreened and unvetted and unauthorized entries from dozens of countries that border agents encounter on the job.
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