What Barriers Were Already Constructed When Trump Took Office
Trumps predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama builtmiles of barriers on the southern border while eschewing Trumps anti-immigrantrhetoric. These pro-immigration presidents put a great deal of money intosecuring the border because they believed that doing so would strengthen theircase for passage of comprehensive immigration reform.
The southern border is nearly 2,000 miles long. About 700 ofthose miles are on land the remaining 1,300 miles are the Rio Grande river. Accordingto the Government Accountability Office , prior to 2005 only about 150miles of the border was fenced. Over about eight years and with approximately$2.4 billion, the fencing was extended to approximately 650 miles. When Trumptook office almost all the land border had fencing of some type, such as chainlink, bollard fence , or vehicle fencing thats shapedlike a roadblock. You can see images of the fences, as well as breaches in eachtype of fence, in GAOs 2017 report.
Trump’s Executive Order To Build Border Wall Is A Start
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to push forward one of his biggest campaign promises: build a wall along the border with Mexico.
The executive order signed Jan. 25, five days after Trump’s inauguration, instructs departments and agencies to “deploy all lawful means” to secure the southern border, prevent further illegal immigration and to send immigrants in the country illegally back to their countries.
The order sets forth Trump’s policy to secure the border “through the immediate construction of a physical wall,” to prevent drug trafficking and terrorism.
It directs the secretary of homeland security to:
“In accordance with existing law, including the Secure Fence Act and IIRIRA, take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.”
The order defines “wall” as “a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.”
It also asks the department to identify and allocate sources of federal funds for the planning, design, and construction of the physical wall, and to prepare congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years.
In an interview with ABC News’ David Muir aired Jan. 25, Trump said wall construction would start in months.
Other experts have told us it could take years to build a border wall.
Opiniontrump’s Wall Is Not A New Concept Authoritarians Have Built Them For Centuries
But López Obrador is not the only one allowing Trump to do whatever he wants to do in the region. The Trump “wall” of agreements to enforce American immigration policy for us extends well into Central America, and includes new third party agreements to upend the process for migrants to receive asylum in America that we have made with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador where political leaders desperate for American aid are more than willing to criticize the American president one minute and enforce his policies the next.
Trump’s ability to get others to do his dirty work speaks to how the U.S. can still play the bully around its own backyard.
And while the virtual wall expands south, the real one is being constructed, at least in small sections, in the American southwest. From the looks of how acquiescent Central American leaders have been to Trump’s demands, however, the physical wall might not actually be needed.
Mexico is not just being asked to play the role of Trump’s virtual wall against Central American migrants Mexican migrants are now falling victim to the other walls Trump has been building. Yes, even as Mexico continues its role as Trumps enforcer, the U.S. has begun using its agreement with Guatemala to send Mexican asylum-seekers detained at the U.S. border to that third country.
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National Emergency Concerning The Southern Border Of The United States
|This article is part of a series about
The National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States was declared on February 15, 2019, by President of the United StatesDonald Trump. Citing the National Emergencies Act, it ordered the diversion of billions of dollars of funds that had been appropriated to the U.S. Department of Defense for military construction. Trump declared the emergency after he signed, but derided, a bipartisan funding bill containing border security funding without funding for the border wall that Trump demanded.
Trump had previously threatened to declare a national emergency if Congress did not pass his entire desired program for a wall on the United StatesMexican border by February 15, 2019. Under Proclamation 9844, the Trump administration intended to redirect $8 billion in previously-agreed expenditure and to use the money to build the wall instead. Under Trump’s plan, $3.6 billion assigned to military construction, $2.5 billion meant for the Department of Defense’s drug interdiction activities, and $600 million from the Treasury’s forfeiture fund would be diverted for wall construction. Trump’s declaration was unprecedented in that none of the 58 previous emergency declarations made by U.S. presidents involved circumventing Congress to spend money it had expressly refused to authorize or allocate.
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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Legal Challenges And Injunctions
In his statement declaring the emergency, President Trump acknowledged the inevitability of legal challenges, stating that he anticipated losing in lower courts, but ultimately prevailing in the Supreme Court. The lawsuits are expected to revolve around different issues such as property rights, tribal sovereignty, and the limits of the presidency. Similar court cases challenging the Secure Fence Act of 2006 still remain open over a decade later.
As of February 22,2019, at least six separate lawsuits have been filed. Three lawsuits were filed within days of the announcement of the declaration: El Paso County, Texas filed a lawsuit in the Western District of Texas in concert with the Border Network for Human Rights, Protect Democracy, and the Niskanen Center Public Citizen sued on behalf of the Frontera Audubon Society and three Texan landowners and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice in a case involving a FOIA request.
House Appropriations Committee Approves Funding For Border Security
A House committee has given preliminary approval to about $1.6 billion for 28 miles of a new levee wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and 46 miles of fencing.
The money for border infrastructure construction includes:
28 miles of new levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley, at $498 million
32 miles of new border fencing in the Rio Grande Valley, at $784 million and,
14 miles of secondary fencing in San Diego, Calif., at $251 million
The House Appropriations Committee on July 18 voted 30-22 on a proposed bill to provide the Department of Homeland Security with $44.3 billion in discretionary funding for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2017, and ending Sept. 30, 2018.
The proposed funding is in addition to money appropriated in fiscal year 2017 for the replacement of 40 miles of primary fencing in sectors of California and Texas .
The Associated Press reported that Republican leaders plan to attach funding for border security to a spending bill for the Defense Department and other agencies. The House is expected to consider that spending bill soon.
Details on the length and type of wall remain uncertain. In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection began accepting proposals for the design and construction of wall prototypes solid concrete and other types. In late June, DHS told the New York Times prototype constructions would begin this summer but did not specify when exactly.
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There Is Other Ways To Get Over A Wall
Mexicans are not that stupid. They are human beings just like you and me. I am pretty sure they can find another way over the wall. Dont even try to build one because it would be useless anyways. A waste of time and money. Also people are idiots. They should all go die in a hole. There is no reason to build a wall when it can bring us down to. Other countries especially Mexico can see this act as an act of war. It can also show how distrustful we are towards Mexico. It is very offensive.
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How The Border Wall Is Boxing Trump In
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WASHINGTON Before it became the chief sticking point in a government shutdown drama that threatens to consume his presidency at a critical moment, President Trumps promise to build a wall on the southwestern border was a memory trick for an undisciplined candidate.
As Mr. Trump began exploring a presidential run in 2014, his political advisers landed on the idea of a border wall as a mnemonic device of sorts, a way to make sure their candidate who hated reading from a script but loved boasting about himself and his talents as a builder would remember to talk about getting tough on immigration, which was to be a signature issue in his nascent campaign.
How do we get him to continue to talk about immigration? Sam Nunberg, one of Mr. Trumps early political advisers, recalled telling Roger J. Stone Jr., another adviser. Were going to get him to talk about hes going to build a wall.
Talk Mr. Trump did, and the line drew rapturous cheers from conservative audiences, thrilling the candidate and soon becoming a staple of campaign speeches. Chants of Build the wall! echoed through arenas throughout the country.
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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.
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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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.
Practical Obstacles To Land Acquisition Are Legion
Even in cases in which the government may be able to prove in court that it has a compelling public need for the land under eminent domain law, landowners can still drag out the process by challenging every move. Many landowners in Texas have done precisely that. In fact, as recently as 2019, some Texas landowners were still litigating land seizures from President George W. Bushs presidency.
As part of their opposition to the wall, congressional Democrats asked the Government Accountability Office to study obstacles to seizing the land. The resulting report reveals a process riddled with legal and practical land mines.
It would be easier to complete a large-scale project of this sort if it didnt have to be made public for political reasons. Consider how Grand Teton National Park was created. John D. Rockefeller Jr., the conservationist son of Standard Oils founder, dreamed of creating a large park around the Tetons and began surreptitiously buying up ranch land. He feared that if locals realized what he was doing and who was behind it, they would demand higher prices for their land.
So Rockefeller formed the Snake River Land Co. and hired circumspect agents to purchase land on his behalf. Once he acquired enough, he donated it to the federal government to create a national park. His intuition was right: Once some locals uncovered the scheme, they organized to oppose it and claimed that they had been manipulated and swindled.
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Why Trump Didnt Build The Wall When Republicans Controlled Congress
The construction of a physical barrier along the Mexican border has been Donald Trumps signature issue since he hit the campaign trail in 2015 and led repeated chants of Build the wall! After Trump won, he enjoyed two years when his fellow Republicans controlled both the Senate and House of Representatives. But he only began to insist on billions in wall funding after Democrats captured the House, precipitating the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history. If the border wall was as important to Trump as he says, why didnt Republicans provide the funds while they ruled Capitol Hill?
The answer to this political mystery is that the wall has never been a top priority for most Republicans. And their stance reflects limited enthusiasm for its construction among conservative policy-makers and voters alike. CONT.
David A. Hopkins , Washington Post
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Where The Idea For Donald Trump’s Wall Came From
Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Donald Trump, is credited, along with fellow political consultant… Sam Nunberg, in coming up with the idea to build a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Donald Trumps plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border did not come from security analysts following years of study or through evidence that a wall would reduce illegal immigration. Amazingly, for something so central to the current U.S. president, the wall came about as a mnemonic device thought up by a pair of political consultants to remind Donald Trump to talk about illegal immigration.
In 2014, Trumps plan to run for president moved into high gear. His political confidant was consultant Roger Stone. Inside Trumps circle, the power of illegal immigration to manipulate popular sentiment was readily apparent, and his advisers brainstormed methods for keeping their attention-addled boss on message, writes Joshua Green, author of Devils Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising. They needed a trick, a mnemonic device. In the summer of 2014, they found one that clicked.
Joshua Green had good access to Trump insiders, including Sam Nunberg, who worked with Stone. Roger Stone and I came up with the idea of the Wall, and we talked to Steve about it, according to Nunberg. It was to make sure he talked about immigration.
Note: You can read an article with analysis of the latest border data here.
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