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.
Who Foots The Bill
On the campaign trail Trump‘s immigration reform plan called for impounding remittance payments derived from illegal wages, a controversial idea, and imposing increased visa and entry fees to the United States from Mexico unless the latter agrees to finance the wall. Trump is also pushing border taxes more broadly against trading partners, which could help finance the wall.
According to a Government Accountability Office 2009 report, the cost to build 1 mile of fencing at the border averaged between $2.8 million and $3.9 million. But that figure may be low relative to costs for future sections of the wall. It’s based only on the first 220 miles fenced and does not include other factors, such as topography, transportation logistics in harder-to-reach areas , labor costs, land acquisition costs and surveillance equipment.
“The first miles of fencing were in the easiest” places, said Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute. These were fencing areas in or close to cities and accessible transportation, rather than deep in deserts or mountains. Additionally, the first miles were on public lands, while completing a border wall would require the government to acquire land from private holders. The GAO estimate for one difficult section of fencing near San Diego was $16 million.
Illegal Crossings Appear To Have Fallen This Year
Mr Trump made reducing illegal immigration a top priority of his administration and it has been a key part of his re-election campaign.
The latest figures suggest the number of migrants apprehended at the southern border this year have fallen after doubling between 2018 and 2019.
In particular, the number of children and those travelling in family groups apprehended at the border has dropped significantly in the 12 months to October, compared with the previous year.
How much this fall in numbers is down to the new barriers is unclear, though, and immigration experts say the drop is likely to be the result of the deterrent effect of a whole raft of anti-immigration measures introduced by Mr Trump’s administration rather than the barrier alone.
Those fleeing violence or persecution to the US have found asylum rules tightened, been forced to wait in camps for long periods as their cases are determined and come up against new limits on the number of refugees accepted into the country.
The administration has also adopted emergency procedures during the coronavirus pandemic that allow agents to expel those crossing the border back to Mexico, bypassing normal immigration and asylum proceedings.
“Any effect that the physical wall has had in reducing unauthorised migration has paled in comparison to the administration’s bureaucratic wall,” says Sarah Pierce, US immigration policy analyst at the independent Migration Policy Institute.
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Will Mexico Actually Pay For The Wall
Former Mexican president Vicente Fox revived a Twitter spat with Trump after the executive order was issued. Fox sent a candid message to the new White House press secretary.
& mdash @VicenteFoxQue
Trump responded and suggested that if Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto disliked his administration’s stance, he should cancel a scheduled visit to the U.S.
Nieto, who has repeatedly said Mexico will not pay for the wall, said he would not attend meetings at the White House as planned. He also noted that he was still willing to work with the U.S.
The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers…
& mdash @realDonaldTrump
Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, suggested the U.S. might fund construction of the wall by introducing a 20 per cent border tax applied to imports from Mexico. He later clarified that the tax was just one option the Trump administration was exploring.
Given that the Secure Fence Act has almost fulfilled its mandate of erecting 1,126 km of fencing, Trump would need the support of Congress to continue building along the border.
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 Changes Course Says Border Wall Could Cost $15 Billion
Most independent estimates of the cost of opioids do not include the expected earnings of those who die from overdoses, and the president did not offer a dollar figure for how much money the federal government would actually reap in a month from staunching the flow of drugs.
But on the same day that he signed a two-week extension of federal funding for most agencies which were due to shut down without a stopgap measure Trump appealed to lawmakers to put money into the wall.
“Congress must fully fund border security in the year-end funding bill,” he said.
Still, he said, law enforcement officers are able to deal with efforts by undocumented immigrants to cross into the U.S., even without a wall.
“Our great people are able to easily handle it,” he said. “Without the wall, it gets tougher. But you know what, they still handle it.”
Trump’s various efforts to combine wall funding with the rewriting of the laws governing legal immigration have failed so far in Congress, and the idea of building a physical structure across the southern border has been a non-starter with Democrats, who will control the House in January.
The Real Cost Of Trumps Border Wall On Your Wallet
Trump claimed that the cost would only amount to $12 billion. But even that amount isnt that low when compared with the $2.3 billion spent on physical barriers for the entire period between fiscal years 2007 to 2015. Plus, an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security estimated the cost of the wall to be much higher at about $21.6 billion, and even that could be an underestimation, according to the Brookings Institution.
The DHS report didnt provide enough comprehensive analysis to convey the true cost of the wall and its inefficiency, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, which will ultimately cost the American taxpayer.
Heres a breakdown of construction cost estimates according to various sources:
- President Trump: $12 billion
- Former House Speaker Paul Ryan: $15 billion
- Department of Homeland Security: $22 billion
- The Washington Post: $25 billion
- Senate Democrats: $70 billion
Besides the cost of the physical construction of the wall, there also is all the paperwork. For example, there are legal fees that must be paid in order to acquire the land where the wall is going to be constructed. Even after acquisition, the U.S. government still has to compensate the former owner, which will raise the total bill on the construction of the border wall.
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Trump’s Border Wall Will Cost 80 Times More Than Beyonc’s Entire Formation Tour Made
Donald Trump‘s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border was undeniably one of his most notable promises while running for president. Now that he has officially signed an executive order to begin the construction process, many Americans have a lot of questions about the undertaking, and some of the answers to those questions have just come to light.
Reuters got a peak at an internal report from the US Department of Homeland Security, and it revealed some interesting predicted statistics on the project. Below, we break down the stats on the construction and offer some perspective on what those numbers really mean. Spoiler alert: it’s going to cost a lot more than the $8 billion Trump anticipated during the election.
- The wall would cost an estimated $21.6 billion. That’s 80 times as much as the reported $250 million Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour grossed.
- The wall would take three and a half years to build. Yeah, you could watch Fifty Shades Darker a little more than 15,000 times in the time it’s estimated is needed to build the wall. That’s a whole lot of Mr. Grey.
- The wall would extend slightly more than 1,250 miles along the border. To put that in perspective? That’s just a few miles short of the length of the drive between Denver, CO, and Detroit, MI.
What The Walls Price Tag Would Be
The wall comes with many costs, some obvious though hard to estimate, some unforeseen. The most obvious is the large financial outlay required to build it, in whatever form it eventually takes. Although during the election campaign candidate Trump claimed that the wall would cost only $12 billion, a Department of Homeland Security internal report in February put the cost at $21.6 billion, but that may be a major underestimate.
The estimates vary so widely because of the lack of clarity about what the wall will actually consist of beyond the first meager Homeland Security specifications that it be either a solid concrete wall or a seethrough structure, physically imposing in height, ideally 30 feet high but no less than 18 feet, sunk at least six feet into the ground to prevent tunneling under it that it should not be scalable with even sophisticated climbing aids and that it should withstand prolonged attacks with impact tools, cutting tools, and torches. But that description doesnt begin to cover questions about the details of its physical structure. Then there are the legal fees required to seize land on which to build the wall. The Trump administration can use eminent domain to acquire the land but will still have to negotiate compensation and often face lawsuits. More than 90 such lawsuits in southern Texas alone are still open from the 2008 effort to build a fence there.
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Trumps Big Border Wall Is Now A Pile Of Rusting Steel
Worth at least a quarter billion dollars, the steel bollards are a relic of the Trump era.
Tens of thousands of heavy steel slats, once destined to become part of former President Donald Trumps border wall, are slowly rusting in the open air throughout the southwestern borderlands. The bollards18- or 33-foot-long hollow posts, most of them reinforced with concrete and rebarare worth at least a quarter of a billion dollars. The Department of Defense owns most of that steel, but its unclear what willor canbe done with it. For now, it remains in spider-webbed stacks sunning themselves in vast staging areas along the wall.
President Joe Biden persistently campaigned on a clean break from the policies of the Trump administration. Perhaps in no other field did Trumps critics hope for swifter and more complete reversals than in immigration and border policy. Those hopes have been dashed: Despite many promises, the Biden administration has effectively locked in, and in some cases even expanded, draconian anti-immigration measures implemented by Trump. The wall was supposed to be the easy change. But halting a project of this scale is never easy.
Down a little hump in the road from the wall near Guadalupe Canyon stood a fortress of bollards: 30 huge stacks forming a ring, in the center of which were piles of light poles, PVC piping, electrical wires, prefab concrete, tangles of steel mesh, and long snakes of steel rebarall just sitting there.
Trump Wall: How Much Has He Actually Built
Building a “big, beautiful wall” between the US and Mexico was the signature promise of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign. A concrete barrier, he said, would serve to stop what he described as a flow of illegal immigrants and drugs over the border.
But what actually happened to the wall? How much of it has been built? And how effective has it been?
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Why Does Trump Want To Build The Wall
Trump first called for the building of a wall in October 2014, saying the U.S. needed a better way to stop ISIS at the border.
The fight against ISIS starts at our border. At least 10 ISIS have been caught crossing the Mexico border. Build a wall!
& mdash @realDonaldTrump
He later mentioned his plan to build a wall when he announced his candidacy in June 2015.
“I will build a great wall and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” he said. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
His controversial speech criticized Mexico and suggested that the U.S. had become a “dumping ground” for the wrong kind of people.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,” he said. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
Trump told MSNBC in February 2016 that he envisioned building a wall that measured 10 to 12 metres . And don’t call it a fence, Trump has responded testily to people who’ve made the suggestion.
Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a “fence.” It’s not a fence, Jeb, it’s a WALL, and there’s a BIG difference!
& mdash @realDonaldTrump
How Much Is New
Various types of fencing totalling 654 miles were already in place before Mr Trump became president in 2017.
These ran through the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
The Trump administration say they’ve completed more than 400 miles of border wall since then.
It’s 452 miles in total, according to the latest US Customs and Border Protection information .
However, only 80 miles of new barriers have been built where there were none before – that includes 47 miles of primary wall, and 33 miles of secondary wall built to reinforce the initial barrier.
The vast majority of the 452 miles is replacing existing structures at the border that had been built by previous US administrations.
President Trump has argued that this should be regarded as new wall, because it’s replacing what he called “old and worthless barriers.”
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What Other Obstacles Exist
Trump’s team has reportedly had meetings with the army and Interior Department to assess environmental obstacles to building the wall, according to CNN. Critics suggest a wall might threaten the movement of species in the Rio Grande. The Bernstein report also notes that construction in some areas might be difficult, given the territory crosses several floodplains.
What The Wall Would Mean For Crime In The Us
Although President Trump has railed against the carnage of crime in the United States, the crime statistics, with few exceptions, tell a very different story.
From 1991 to 2015, U.S. homicides fell 36%
In 2014, 14,249 people were murdered, the lowest homicide rate since 1991 when there were 24,703, and part of a pattern of steady decline in violent crime over that entire period. In 2015, however, murders in the U.S. did shoot up to 15,696. This increase was largely driven by three citiesBaltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Baltimore and Chicago have decreasing populations, and all three have higher poverty and unemployment than the national average, high income and racial inequality, and troubled relations between residents and policeconditions conducive to a rise in violent crime. In 2016, homicides fell in Washington and Baltimore, but continued rising in Chicago.
There is no evidence, however, that undocumented residents accounted for either the rise in crime or even for a substantial number of the crimes, in Chicago or elsewhere. The vast majority of violent crimes, including murders, are committed by nativeborn Americans. Multiple criminological studies show that foreignborn individuals commit much lower levels of crime than do the nativeborn. In California, for example, where there is a large immigrant population, including of undocumented migrants, U.S.born men were incarcerated at a rate 2.5 times higher than foreignborn men.
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