More Than 700km Completed
So far, the Trump administration has completed 727km of its $15bn border wall, according to US Customs and Border Protection , and much of that has gone up on once federally protected land, as well as in refuges and on Indigenous land.
In order to do construction quickly and bypass red tape and potential lawsuits from building on private land the administration has used a provision in a 2005 law that allows federal authorities to waive laws to ensure expeditious construction of certain barriers and roads at the US border.
CBP said rapid construction is important to border security, but it also means builders are going in virtually blind, without any environmental impact studies.
Trump lauded the administrations success in building the barrier ahead of a final visit as president to the US-Mexico border on Tuesday. As you know, weve completed the wall. They may want to expand it. We have the expansion underway. Its been tremendously successful, far beyond what anyone thought, Trump told reporters before he left for Texas.
He credited the wall with stopping the flow of illegal drugs, as well as preventing people from entering the country without necessary immigration permits. The wall has made a tremendous difference on the southern border, Trump said.
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.
Will Biden Continue To Build The Wall
President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to halt construction and focus more on technology to secure the border. He said in August that not another foot of wall would be built under his administration and that he would drop lawsuits to seize land for border construction.
It is not entirely clear what Bidens administration will do with contracts for wall construction that have already been awarded but have yet to be completed, or how it will deal with land that has already been condemned.
The Trump administration has filed dozens of lawsuits to seize land in Texas since Election Day as it scrambles to move forward with wall construction. It has also sped up construction on public lands where opponents say mountainous rough natural terrain already acted as an effective barrier.
Representative Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat who sits on the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, is among those pushing for remediation for environmental damage caused by wall construction. He also wants potential reparations for people whose land was condemned for wall construction under Trump.
Reporting by Mimi Dwyer in Los Angeles, additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington, editing by Ross Colvin and Aurora Ellis
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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.”
Here’s How Much Of Trump’s Us
On June 23, President Trump made his first visit of the year to the Mexican border wall, a project that was a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign platform. The wall is expected to be a top re-election talking point for the Trump campaign, but progress on its construction has lagged considerably behind the administration’s stated goals.
Trumps visit was also meant to celebrate the completion of 200 miles of the wall. Despite the congratulatory tone, the 200 miles is less than half of Trumps stated goal of having 450 miles of wall built by the end of 2020.
Complicating this issue further is that only three miles of the wall has been built along portions of the border where there had already been structures. The rest of the progress made on the wall has been made by replacing old or dilapidated structures and fencing.
My administration has done more than any administration in the history to secure our southern border, Trump boasted during the visit. Our border has never been more secure.
Trump also attempted to boast about the 84% drop in undocumented border crossing within the last year. This statistic may have more to do with the coronavirus outbreak and the administrations comprehensive measures to curb immigration.
In all, the U.S.-Mexico border spans 1,954 miles. To cover a little over 200 of those miles with Trumps much-touted structure has so far cost the administration $15 billion and garnered several legal challenges.
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Promise: The Wall Will Be ‘big Beautiful’ And ‘concrete’ Status: Not Exactly
Trump spent a lot of time as a candidate talking about how his big, beautiful border wall would look. He often said it would be made out of concrete he said it would be 35 or 40 or 55 or 80 feet tall, depending on the rally.
The politicians would come up to me, and theyd say, You know, Donald, you cant build the wall. I said, You have to be kidding. You have to be kidding. Concrete plank, you have to be kidding. Precast, precast, right? Boom. Bing. Done. Keep going, he said in August 2016.
As president, he spent millions on border wall prototypes some concrete, some steel to test new border wall structures all eight were vulnerable to breaching and have since been torn down.
The Trump administration has continued to use steel bollard fencing designs for border barriers, just like the Obama administration.
Impact On Mexicous Relations
The executive order soured relations between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican PresidentEnrique Peña Nieto addressed Mexican citizens via a recorded message, in which he condemned Trump’s executive order and again said Mexico would not pay for the wall’s construction. Following a Twitter feud between the two leaders in which Trump threatened to cancel a planned meeting with Nieto in Washington, Nieto decided to cancel the meeting himself.
Addressing supporters, Mexican opposition politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador condemned the wall order as an insult to Mexico, and demanded the Mexican government to pursue claims against the American government in the United Nations.
In March 2017, Mexican congressman Braulio Guerra of Querétaro illegally climbed, and partially crossed, an existing 30-foot border fence on American soil dividing San Diego and Tijuana, saying that more walls would be ineffective.
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mexico opposed the border wall, and wrote that any Mexican company that participates in construction of the wall or supplies materials for construction would be committing “treason against the homeland”.
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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.
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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Explainer: Why Is Trump Visiting The Border Wall In The Last Days Of His Presidency
By Mimi Dwyer
4 Min Read
LOS ANGELES – U.S. President Donald Trump will visit the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday just a week before he is due to leave office to tout what he views as one of his biggest accomplishments: the partial construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump plans to visit the wall in Alamo, Texas, a town in Texas Rio Grande Valley. It is distinct from the site of the Battle of the Alamo, a pivotal Texan loss in the Texas Revolution, which was later used by some Texans to invoke a battle cry. The White House denied any symbolism in Trumps choice of destination.
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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How Much Of Trumps Wall Has Been Built
Claim: Much of the wall has already been fully renovated or built. Mexico is paying for the wall through the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.
Verdict: The border authorities say work has begun on building improved border security infrastructure. The money made available so far is largely tied to barrier designs that already exist. The trade agreement with Mexico and Canada is not yet in place and its not clear how this would directly lead to revenue from Mexico to pay for the wall.
US President Donald Trump wants to spend billions of dollars building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
He needs the US Congress to approve the funding for his plan but he has come up against strong opposition, and the Democratic party doesnt want to stump up the money.
However, Mr Trump says there has already been significant progress.
Writing on Twitter he says much of the wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work.
So, just how much has been built so far and is Mexico paying?
Building a wall along the border with Mexico was one of Mr Trumps key election promises.
The White House says the wall is critical to stopping illegal immigrants and drugs entering the country.
The border is 1,954 miles long, with about 650 miles of various types of fencing already in place through California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Why is President Trump talking about the wall now?
What has been built along the border so far?
Is Mexico going to pay for it?
Fact Check: Did President Trump Build The ‘big Beautiful’ Border Wall He Promised
During President Donald Trump‘s first campaign for president, one of his biggest, most quoted promises was to build a “big, beautiful wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border.
As far back as June 16, 2015, when he launched his campaign, Trump promised to “build a great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border “very inexpensively.”
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Trump said. “I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”
“Build the wall” chants were still heard at Trump’s 2020 campaign rallies.
As President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office January 20, the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection aim to complete 450 miles of border wall before the inauguration.
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Whats undeniable is that the 654 miles of walls and fences already on the US-Mexico border have made a mess out of the environment there. The existing barrier has cut off, isolated, and reduced populations of some of the rarest and most amazing animals in North America, like the jaguar. Theyve led to the creation of miles of roads through pristine wilderness areas. Theyve even exacerbated flooding, becoming dams when rivers have overflowed.
The new sections of fence under contract are slated for the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas and will cut right through a federal wildlife refuge, a state park, Native American grave sites, and the National Butterfly Center. Conservationists and wildlife managers consider this region to be one of the most ecologically valuable areas on the border home to endangered ocelots and jaguarundis, two beautiful small cat species in the region plants, and 400 species of birds.
According to internal documents recently made public by the conservation non-profit Defenders of Wildlife through the Freedom of Information Act, US wildlife officials have been raising red flags about the new construction. They think it will further degrade habitat for wildlife, including endangered species like the ocelot and jaguarundi, and further restrict their movement.