First Claim Is False Over 300 Miles Of Wall Have Been Built Though Just 5 Miles Are New
It’s true that the number of miles of wall built at the southern border has fallen short of the number promised by Trump. But it’s not quite as low as the post makes it out to be.
On Sept. 1, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that 307 miles of the border wall have been completed.
Still, the “3 mile” figure is likely referring to the number of miles of new border wall that have been built.
On June 23, the Los Angeles Times reported that of the 216 miles built since Trump took office, just 3 miles were “constructed in locations where no barriers previously existed.” The rest were replacement walls or secondary to existing walls.
That figure seems to have grown a bit over the summer, too on Aug. 7, the San Antonio Express-News reported that of the then-260 miles completed, a total of 5 miles were new.
Appropriated Border Wall Funds
Furthermore, Bush makes a dubious claim that wall construction was funded by duly appropriated dollars during the Trump days.
The Trump administration initially requested $13.3 billion through 2020 for wall construction, but Congress provided $4.47 billion through Department of Homeland Security appropriations, according to the Congressional Research Service. Of that total, about $1 billion was directed to barrier replacement projects, $1.4 billion was directed to planning and $2 billion was directed to construction needs in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
Funds appropriated by Congress for wall construction are legally obligated to be used consistent with their appropriated purpose, no matter the administration in office.
The only other money appropriated to border wall construction was part of a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in 2020. That bill included $900 billion for COVID-19 relief and nearly $1.4 billion for wall funding. Biden has since paused the flow of those funds to border wall construction projects.
Since January 2017, ~$15 billion has been identified to construct ~738 miles of new border wall system through a combination of Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense funding and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund , the memo reads. Funding received supports planning, design, real estate, environmental, construction and oversight activities.
The Claim: Among Other Broken Promises Trump Only Built 3 Miles Of Border Wall
A post on Facebook shared over 10,000 times lists a number of promises that President Donald Trump made to his supporters that it claims he failed to fulfill.
“Dear Trump Supporters, Only 3 miles of wall got built Mexico didn’t pay Hillary’s not locked up Obamacare wasn’t repealed the deficit’s skyrocketed millions are unemployed and instead of being ‘great again,’ America is the epicenter of a global pandemic,” the post reads. “Y’all got played.”
The post is a screenshot of a from July 19 by the account Translate Trump. Its bio claims that it provides “interpretations, insights, and fact-checks” of tweets from Trump, and the user behind the account declined to comment.
The user who posted the tweet to Facebook did not respond to a request from USA TODAY for comment.
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Border Barrier Or ‘vanity Project’
While many within Trump’s base would like to see the president’s border wall plans brought to fruition, the majority of Americans appear to believe their money could be spent better elsewhere, with a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in January finding that the majority of Americans, or 58 percent, to be against Trump’s plans to expand U.S. border barriers, while 40 percent were in support of the plan.
Meanwhile, Trump’s harshest critics, including California Senator and 2020 Democratic candidate Kamala Harris, have dismissed the president’s bid as nothing more than “vanity project” aimed at securing an emblem to represent his legacy.
Immigration experts also appear to agree with that sentiment, with one former senior DHS official speaking to Newsweek on the condition of anonymity earlier this year, branding the border wall project a “truly absurd” waste of money that will see Americans’ money “burned” for the “vanity project of an egomaniac.”
“There are things that we can do with that money. So many things that would be more valuable to the average American,” the former DHS official, who served under the Obama administration, said.
Rather than using taxpayers to build Trump’s wall, which the former senior official said “isn’t going to do anything,” the Trump administration should be focusing on the “push factors” that drive refugees to flee their countries and come to the U.S. in the first place.
This article was updated to include an infographic.
The Truth About Donald Trump’s Border Wall
On January 13, 2021, President Donald Trump made his first public appearance after the armed insurrection which breached the U.S. Capitol and resulted in the deaths of at least four people, including one police officer. CNN reported that he went to Alamo, Texas, on the U.S. border with Mexico, in order to tout what he called successes in upgrading hundreds of miles of border wall. The hot-button issue both helped Mr. Trump garner support to win the presidency in 2016 and maintain public backing for the other immigration policies he enacted during his term, such as a program that has forced thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to wait out immigration court dates in Mexican border towns. Lawyers and advocates have argued that it puts them in dangerous situations.
During his seemingly endless tour of campaign events in the runup to the 2016 election, Mr. Trump made several promises about the border wall to cheering fans who chanted back, “Build that wall!” One of his most salient promises was that the funding to build it would come from Mexico. To the surprise of few, if any, Mexico did not pay for the wall. U.S. taxpayers supplied around $15 billion . And that’s just one of several wall promises he made to the American people that remain unfulfilled at the end of his presidency. Let’s take a look at those wall promises just to see how far off the mark they were.
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A Key Migrant Camp Is Emptying
Thousands who have made the journey to the southern US border have found refuge in temporary border communities – often in shanty towns with little infrastructure or resources and vulnerable to pressure from violent organised-crime gangs.
According to Human Rights Watch, these migrants are under threat from criminal organisations which kidnap them on the assumption that they have relatives in the US who could be extorted for money.
In the town of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, hundreds of people set up one such camp in 2018 near the entry point, in the scrubland on the banks of the Rio Grande.
Charities such as the World Food Kitchen, the Dignity Village collective and Global Response Management provide food, tents, clothing and medical care to those living in the camp, where around 50% of residents are under the age of 15.
But Andrea Leiner, director of strategic planning for GRM, says coronavirus and July’s Hurricane Hanna have had dire consequences.
Coronavirus restrictions have meant the border has been closed for all but essential travel and immigration hearings have been postponed.
Hurricane Hanna not only brought floods to the camp but also caused an infestation of rats, snakes and mosquitoes, forcing many residents to flee.
Ms Leiner says the repeated blows of plague, famine, and hurricane, on top of the legal restrictions, have drained people of hope.
How Much The Border Wall Cost Us Taxpayers
Trump promised to build his border wall very inexpensively and have Mexico pay for it. But as of January 2020, the price tag for the border wall was more than $11 billion dollars, or nearly $20 million per mile, according to NPR.
And one of his White House communication directors acknowledged to CNN in 2019, that U.S. taxpayersnot Mexicoare footing the bill.
Everything is changing now that Biden signed executive action. It shall be the policy of my Administration that no more American taxpayer dollars be diverted to construct a border wall. I am also directing a careful review of all resources appropriated or redirected to construct a southern border wall, he wrote.
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Fact Check: Mcconnell Suggests That Democrats Want To Tell Americans How Many Hamburgers You Can Eat
From CNN’s Katie Lobosco
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the Democrats for wanting to pass more regulations, including suggesting that Democrats want to tell Americans how many hamburgers you can eat.
Facts First: This is a clear exaggeration. Democrats have not called for limiting how many hamburgers Americans can eat. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Bidens running mate, has said she would support changing dietary guidelines, a far cry from mandating what people can eat.
Several Democratic presidential candidates talked about cattle production and its negative impact on the environment at a CNN town hall on climate change held in September 2019.
When asked if she would support changing dietary guidelines to reduce the consumption of red meat, Harris said she would, but that the balance that we have to strike here, frankly, is about what government can and should do around creating incentives.
I love cheeseburgers from time to time, she added.
Republicans have often repeated this claim that Democrats want to control what Americans eat. Theyve also criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s initial rollout of her Green New Deal to radically tackle the climate crisis. Critics seized on a line that mentioned cow flatulence that appeared to be based on a single sentence in a Frequently Asked Questions document posted by Ocasio-Cortezs office.
Promise: The Wall Would Cost $8
Perhaps Trumps most consistent promise about the border wall was that Mexico would pay for it.
“I will have Mexico pay for that wall, mark my words,” Trump said at his presidential announcement speech, one of hundreds of times he made that promise.
He said during his 2016 campaign that it would cost $8 billion, or perhaps $12 billion, for his 1,000-mile wall. In fact, the federal government has allocated $15 billion for the 453 mile project, according to Time Magazine.
Mexico did not pay for the wall its leaders have refused since Trump first made his promise. After Trump’s inauguration, the president began suggesting that the U.S. would initially pay, but that Mexico would reimburse the U.S. for the wall.
That has also not happened. Taxpayers foot the bill for Trump’s wall.
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What Will Happen Under Biden
Even before his election victory, Biden had pledged that “there will not be another foot” of border wall built during his administration. Though he has not released more details, his supporters expect him to stop ongoing construction and cancel contracts for future projects.
Critics of construction want him to go a step further and consider taking down portions of the newly installed bollard fencing in certain environmentally and culturally sensitive areas.
Morgan criticized any effort to stop construction, claiming it would cost taxpayers even more money to cancel the contracts. He also warned it would draw even more migrants and smugglers to the border.
“If the Biden team implements the immigration policies that they have campaigned on, that they promised the American people on Day One, they will create an unmitigated crisis in the first few weeks,” he said.
However, contracting experts said Biden will have various legal options to stop construction, including the termination for convenience clauses built into federal contracts that allows the government to cancel them any time and provide adequate compensation to contractors.
“So any thought that there’s going to be a mess at the border, if he stops these contracts, would be misguided,” he added. “That wouldn’t have to happen by any means.”
Have any news tips or story ideas about the U.S.-Mexico border? Reach the reporter at , or follow him on Twitter .
How Much ‘new Wall’ Trump Has Built Is Up For Debate
Any calculation of the miles of new wall constructed by Mr Trump and his administration depends very much on the definition of the words “new” and “wall”.
Before he took office, there were 654 miles of barrier along the southern border – made up of 354 miles of barricades to stop pedestrians and 300 miles of anti-vehicle fencing.
Now, according to US Customs and Border Protection in its 6 October status report, the southern border has 669 miles of “primary barrier” – the first structure people heading from Mexico to the US will encounter – and 65 miles of “secondary barrier” – which usually runs behind the primary structure as a further obstacle.
This means that in areas where no barricades existed before, they have built 15 miles of new, primary barrier or “border wall system”, as it is called by CBP.
ââAbout a further 350 miles of barrier has been built, according to CBP, made up of replacement structures and some new secondary barrier.
More is planned, too, with 378 miles of new and replacement barrier either under construction or in the “pre-construction phase”. Less than half of this will be in locations where no barriers currently exist, according to CBP.
However, Mr Trump himself doesn’t make a distinction between these new stretches of barrier and replacement structures, regarding both as new wall.
This is because, he says, replacements involve “complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers”.
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Trump Border Wall Breached Thousands Of Times By Smugglers: Report
The fragments of border wall built during the Trump administration were physically breached more than 3,000 times between 2019 and 2021.
An investigation by The Washington Post found that Customs and Border Protection spent $2.6 million to repair 3,272 such breaches in that time period.
The Trump administration in 2017 held a design contest to choose the final ideation for former President Trumps signature construction project, and ultimately built a series of prototypes in a location near San Diego.
Administration officials ultimately chose a design with 18 30-foot-tall steel bollards cemented into the ground, joined at the top by a steel beam.
Upon completion of the first segments, videos quickly surfaced of smuggling groups using common power tools to cut the bollards near the bottom of the wall, easily swinging them out of the way to cross the border.
The Washington Post investigation reveals just how widespread that method of illegal entry has become.
While the Biden administration has redirected its border security efforts toward high tech detection systems and a focus on better control at ports of entry, the idea of a border wall is still a top priority for many Republicans.
At President Bidens State of the Union address Tuesday, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert heckled Biden twice, once to chant build that wall as the president touched on immigration and border security.
Counting Border Wall Miles
On Jan. 8, during the final weeks of Trump’s tenure, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released a border wall status memo detailing additions made between 2017 and 2020.
According to the memo, about 738 miles of barriers were planned. Of those, about 453 miles were completed, and the remaining 285 miles were either under construction or in the pre-construction phase, which President Joe Biden ceased upon entering office. Only about 17 of these miles were constructed in Texas all within the Rio Grande Valley sector.
There are several ways to count border wall miles. U.S. Customs and Border Protection divides wall barriers into several different categories. There are walls constructed in locations where no barriers previously existed, and walls constructed in place of dilapidated or outdated designs. There are barriers built as primary walls, which people walking across the border would encounter first, and barriers built as secondary walls, which run behind the length of primary walls along some sections.
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Of the 453 completed miles, about 47 miles of primary walls and 33 miles of secondary walls were constructed where no barriers previously existed. And 351 miles of primary walls and 22 miles of secondary walls were constructed to replace dilapidated or outdated designs.
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What Are The Construction Costs
As the Trump administration comes to a close on Jan. 20, Customs and Border Protection said they have secured enough funding for the construction of approximately 800 miles of barriers. But not all of that money has been awarded yet.
The agency has not disclosed how much funding they have secured for wall construction. However, all of the money comes from taxpayer funds either set aside by Congress, or that the Trump administration has redirected from other sources within the federal government.
None of the funding has come from Mexico, as Trump repeatedly promised while on the 2016 campaign trail, and even continued to assert at times while in office.
The Arizona Republic estimates that the Trump administration has secured about $16.3 billion for border wall construction, based on congressional appropriations, reprogramming notices and contract award data.
Congress has allocated $5.8 billion to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security since Fiscal Year 2017, Trump’s first in office, for the explicit purpose of building new barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
That includes $1.375 billion in each of the past three fiscal years, most recently in the 2021 spending bill that Trump signed Dec. 27 to avert a government shutdown. Congress approved $1.337 billion for border wall construction in 2018 and $341 million in 2017, according to a report last year from the department’s Office of the Inspector General.
Fact Check: Rudy Giuliani Claim On Violent Crime Increases
From CNN’s Paul Murphy
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani claimed that violent crime has been increasing at percentages unheard of in the past.
“New York City once described as Americas crime capital, had become by the mid-1990s, Americas safest large city,” Giuliani said, blaming current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Murders, shootings, and violent crime are increasing at percentages unheard of in the past. Were seeing the return of rioting and looting.
Facts First: While there have been significant increases in the rates of murder, shootings, robberies and grand larceny of automobiles in New York to date in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, violent crime rates in every major crime category tracked by NYPD are down significantly since Giuliani was mayor.
According to the NYPD’s stats, the rates of seven major felony offenses have dropped 290 percent since Giuliani was in office.
There’s been 259 murders in New York in 2020 so far this year. In the last two years — of Giuliani’s mayorship there were 673 and 649 respectively.
Giuliani saw significant rates of crime drop during his time as mayor, but those drops have largely continued since he left office and remain significantly lower than when Giuliani was in office.
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