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.
Biden Taps Harris To Stem Migration Flow From Central America
White House press secretary Jen Psaki recently distanced the president from the project but did not affirm Bidens campaign trail promise.
There are some components of the wall that had already been allocated, the funding, to continue building by Congress. So we are working within what is allowable, but our focus is not we do not believe the wall is in answer, Psaki told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega.
There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused, Psaki said.
Bidens first budget proposal to Congress requested no additional funding for the wall and asked lawmakers to cancel any unspent funds at the end of 2021.
Trumps Wall Could Have A Big Impact On Still
About two-thirds, or 1,350 miles, of the border remains unfenced. Trump has said that in addition to the 120 miles of new and replacement wall that have already been funded, he wants to build another 215 miles with the $5 billion hes demanding from Congress.
Environmental activists in Texas whove been tracking the wall over the years say theyre concerned that the new wall segment expected to be built starting in February will do significant damage to protected areas, including a section of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, as well as Bentsen Rio Grande State Park, the National Butterfly Center and the La Lomita Chapel.
A wall would certainly destroy the little remaining butterfly habitat at the center, Jeffrey Glassberg, the president of the National Butterfly Center, told me last year. And it would further erode the regions ecotourism. Look no further than what happened at Audubons Sabal Palm Sanctuary once a border wall was built through it: Visits fell by half because the wall made it a much less pleasant place to be, Glassberg says.
The wall could have a serious, in some cases deadly, impact on other species in the region, including:
Walls and levee walls in this region could pose a serious flooding hazard too, says Millis. They are particularly problematic because they would be the first walls built inside the Rio Grande floodplain, and thus are likely to cause floods in the populated areas where they are planned, he says.
Recommended Reading: Is President Trump On Tv Tonight
Trump Opens Acceptance Speech With Words About Hurricane Laura
President Donald Trump opened his Republican National Convention speech by remarking on Hurricane Laura that devastated communities as it swept through Louisiana and Texas.
We begin this evening, our thoughts are with the wonderful people who have just come through the wrath of hurricane Laura, he said. We are working closely with state and local officials in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, sparing no effort to save lives.
Trump praised law enforcement, local and state officials and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for their efforts to prepare for the storm.
The President said he will to visit the region this weekend.
About the storm: The storm left six people dead in Louisiana, including at least four from falling trees. Laura came ashore as a Category 4 storm early Thursday near the Texas border, tearing off roofs and knocking out power for hundreds of thousands of people.
Save this story for later.
American Scar, a documentary short by the New Yorker filmmaker Daniel Lombroso, explores some of the border walls unintended consequences.
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 theres going to be a mess at the border, if he stops these contracts, would be misguided, he added. That wouldnt 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 .
Don’t Miss: How Are Trump’s Poll Numbers
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?
The Rest Of The Claims About Mexico Hillary Clinton Obamacare The Deficit Unemployment And The Pandemic Are True
The rest of the claims in the viral tweet are true.
Of the 275 miles of the miles of wall that have been constructed, Mexico has not paid for them.
In 2019, an aide to Trump said that taxpayers foot the bill for the construction, according to CNN. And there’s no provision in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to provide payment for the wall, though Trump has claimed otherwise, per Politico.
Hillary Clinton is also not “locked up.” A State Department probe of her private email server concluded there was “no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information,” per the Washington Post.
Clinton has not been charged or accused of any crimes let alone “locked up” for them.
Obamacare also was not repealed in full. Congress only repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and the program is still in effect, according to Vox.
The federal deficit has also increased under Trump.
Between 2017-18, it grew 28%. Between 2018-19, it grew 17%, and surpassed $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, per the New York Times.
Millions of Americans are also unemployed, though much of the recent increase in unemployment appears attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate increased from 3.6% in January to 14.7% in April, and dropped back to 10.2% by July, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That month, about 30 million workers collected unemployment benefits, per the New York Times.
Recommended Reading: Has Donald Trump Ever Been Arrested
Join The Vox Video Lab
Go behind the scenes. Chat with creators. Support Vox video. Become a member of the Vox Video Lab on YouTube today.
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.
The Damage Trumps Wall Causes In Mexico
Vanda Felbab-Brown outlines the harmful effects of the U.S.-Mexico border wall on Native Mexican communities, highly sensitive natural environments and biodiversity, and water sustainability in Mexico. This piece was originally published by La Reforma’s Mexico Today.
The July 8 visit by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the United States was characterized by a deafening silence about the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that the Trump administration is aggressively building. Clearly, prioritizing the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was the crucial strategy for the AMLO administration, as it appropriately would be for any Mexican government. But now that the USMCA is in effect, it is time for the AMLO administration to defend the rights of Mexican citizens and demand compensation from the U.S. government for the damage the pointless wasteful and destructive wall will cause to them and to natural environments and biodiversity in Mexico. Mexican civil society, likewise distressingly silent on the issue, should also take up the cause.
Although Mexico never paid for the wall , the wall has vast harmful effects on Native Mexican communities, highly sensitive natural environments and biodiversity, and water sustainability in Mexico.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Latest Trump Approval Rating
How Many Barriers Have Been Built
Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees wall construction efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, said crews completed 452 miles of new barriers by the end of 2020.
In a call with reporters last week, Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said federal contractors are averaging between 1.5 and two miles of new barriers per day, with the scheduled completion of about 475 miles by the time President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.
This historic accomplishment, it doesnt just stand tall as a simple reminder of promises made to the American people and promises kept, Morgan said. But it stands as a reminder of our unwavering commitment to do everything that we can to ensure that we have the tools to protect our national and economic security.
Construction mainly has focused on lands the federal government already owns in Arizona, California and New Mexico. According to a breakdown provided by Customs and Border Protection last week, construction crews have built:
Most of the construction has replaced outdated or aging fencing, such as four-foot permanent vehicle barriers, with 30-foot bollard fencing. Construction includes new roads, lighting and sensors to help agents better patrol the areas of new fencing.
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.”
Don’t Miss: Does Trump Pay For His Own Vacations
Trumps Border Wall Breached By Smugglers Over 3000 Times Records Reveal
The barrier Trump touted as impenetrable can be breached with common power tools, the Washington Post reports
Smugglers have breached the Trump administrations border wall along the US-Mexico frontier more than 3,000 times, government maintenance records obtained by the Washington Post reveal.
Nearly 500 miles of barrier was constructed by the Trump administration beginning in 2019, mostly in rural New Mexico and Arizona. Former president Trump touted the big, beautiful wall as the Rolls-Royce of barriers, but smugglers have breached the wall at least 3,272 times, mostly with common power tools found at hardware stores.
No structure is impenetrable, so we will continue to work to focus resources on modern, effective border management measures to improve safety and security, Luis Miranda, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection told the Post.
He added that border security requires a variety of resources and efforts, infrastructure, technology, and personnel, much of which was not funded when Trumps wall was constructed.
Before its construction, former president Donald Trump promised Mexico would pay for construction of the border wall and that it would be virtually impenetrable.
Ultimately, 458 miles of new border fencing was paid for by taxpayers at a cost of $11bn and there was evidence as early as 2019 that smugglers were sawing through the boundary with $100 power tools.
Trump’s Wall: How Much Has Been Built During His Term
President Donald Trump is visiting the southern border in Texas to claim success in the construction of a border fence with Mexico.
The White House said his visit would “mark the completion of more than 400 miles of border wall – a promise made, promise kept”.
So how much of the border wall has Mr Trump managed to build during his term in office?
Read Also: Is Ivanka Trump An Orthodox Jew
Is Mexico Paying For Trump’s Wall If Not Who Is
While during his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to make Mexico pay for the construction of his long-promised border wall. However, it quickly became apparent after the U.S. leader’s election that it would be U.S. taxpayers footing the bill.
With the U.S. leader unable to convince the country’s southern neighbors cover the costs, Trump has faced repeated barriers of his own in Congress, with Democrats determined to push back against the president’s plans.
Overall, the president’s administration has been able to secure $6.1 billion in funding as of May 2019 to build it’s border wall, according to CBP. That total includes funding that has been approved by Congress, in addition to extra money the U.S. leader has mined after declaring a state of emergency over immigration in February.
While Democrats in Congress have questioned just how much Trump’s long-promised border wall would actually accomplish in deterring illegal immigration, CBP has backed the president’s plans, asserting that “many older segments “are dilapidated, having been built with scrap metal from left-over Vietnam-era landing mat,” in addition to having been, in some cases, “welded by Border Patrol Agents in the 1990s.”
“Since 2008, CBP has received little funding to upgrade border barriers and no funding to expand the border wall’s footprint into operationally necessary locations,” CBP said in its progress update.
Public Acquisition Of Land
Additionally, privately owned land adjacent to the border would have to be acquired by the U.S. government to be built upon. Property owners in southern Texas will lose easy access to significant portions of their land as the wall is built along but some distance from the Rio Grande. Historic gravesites in South Texas may be impacted. In 2017, satirical party-game publisher Cards Against Humanity purchased a plot of land on the border to prevent the wall from being built there.
You May Like: How To Email President Donald Trump
The Wall Is Like A Battery Power For Racial Division
Like the wall itself, Trumps Tuesday visit to the U.S./Mexico border was surrounded by controversy. Local activists and politicians spoke publicly against Trumps visit and called on the White House to cancel it out of fear of further violence. Meanwhile, Trump faces pressure to resign from office, and is facing being impeached for the second time for inciting a mob of supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Local activists expressed concerns for the safety of marginalized communities who live along the border in light of acts of violence committed by Trump supporters at the Capitol. Some shared their fears of continuing the spread of COVID-19 because large crowds are expected to show up when the president speaks in front of the wall on Tuesday. Others shared that they were offended by Trump visiting one of the locations impacted by Zero Tolerance Policy, when thousands of children were separated from their parents upon entering the U.S.
One complaint consistently expressed by opposers since Trump first made his campaign promise to build the wall is that it is a symbol of racism and xenophobia. The wall is like a battery power for racial division, Laredo activist and organizer Juan Ruiz said in a public statement on Monday. Trump is coming here to get recharged, and power up his base. Biden needs to shut it off.
Read Also: How Much Is The Trump Hotel Per Night