Stop : A Scarred Mountainside And A Half
“It is enraging. We have watched thousands of pounds of dynamite be detonated in wilderness areas, in corridors for endangered species, in places where there is not frequent migration from people or smugglers. … They have cut through an entire mountain range to build a small section of wall that to someone in DC was just another mile on the tally.”
Laiken Jordahl, environmental activist
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.
How Much Will It Cost
Trump estimated that the wall will cost about $8 billion US, a figure many suggest might be too low.
A 2016 report from Bernstein, an investment research firm, suggests the cost would likely be much higher, ringing in somewhere between $15-$25 billion.
The Bernstein report cited the Government Accountability Office, which in 2009 reported that one mile of fencing along the border cost between $2.8 million and $3.9 million to install. The report also noted that this calculation applied to the “easiest” stretches of land.
Critics have also questioned if Trump’s estimate also takes maintenance of the wall into account.
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Promise: 1000 Miles Of Wall Status: Not Kept
On Tuesday, the president falsely claimed hed promised and delivered 450 miles of border wall.
In fact, that amounts to less than half of his initial promise. And just 47 miles of the 450 miles amounts new structures where none existed before.
In 2015 and 2016, Trump said he expected the border wall would be around 1,000 miles long, with mountains and rivers creating natural barriers, too. More recently, in his 2020 State of the Union address, Trump said that substantially more than 500 miles of border wall would be done by early 2021.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesman told NBC News that the Trump administration has built 453 miles of new border wall system, which includes barriers as well as patrol roads for patrol cars and other surveillance efforts.
The vast majority of it replaces pedestrian and vehicle barriers erected during previous administrations with much taller steel bollard fencing. Trump falsely claimed he was building a completely new border wall throughout much of his administration when in fact he was replacing older fences.
As of January 8, the Trump administration has built just 47 miles of border wall where none existed before. President Barack Obama left office with 654 miles of border fencing in existence, according to a Government Accountability Office report from early 2017 Trump will leave with 701 miles of border fencing, according to CBP. The half-mile section that Trump visited today was completely new, the spokesman said.
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.
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A Quick History Of Trump’s Evolving Justifications For A Border Wall
The president has been consistent in demanding a border wall. He hasn’t been so consistent in explaining why.
President Donald Trump has been steadfast in his demands for a border wall, launching his campaign on a promise to build one and continually insisting from the White House that he will deliver on that pledge.
But Trump has been less consistent in explaining why the U.S. needs such a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
His evolving justifications are taking on new significance now that Trump is weighing whether to declare a national emergency in a controversial attempt to circumvent Congress and secure the billions of dollars that would be needed to build the barrier.
Trump, who has thrust the government into a partial shutdown with his wall demands, took his case to the American public with a prime-time televised address on Tuesday and is set for a border visit on Thursday.
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.
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Trumps 2018 Budget Requests $16 Billion For Border Security
President Donald Trump is asking Congress for $44.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2018, including $1.6 billion to secure 74 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The requested $1.6 billion would cover:
32 miles of new border wall construction along the Rio Grande Valley sector
28 miles of new levee wall along the Rio Grande Valley sector and,
14 miles of new border wall to replace existing secondary fence in the San Diego sector.
Fiscal year 2018 runs from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018.
Homeland Security officials said on May 23 they are doing a sector-by-sector border analysis and getting feedback from Border Patrol to identify the areas of most need.
DHS Secretary John Kelly told Congress on April 5 that it’s “unlikely that we will build a wall or physical barrier from sea to shining sea,” but that he’s committed to putting it up in areas recommended by agents on the ground.
In some parts of the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, building a concrete wall may be problematic due to rough terrain conditions.
“The president knows that I’m looking at every variation on the theme and I have no doubt when I go back to him and say, ‘You know, boss, wall makes sense here, fencing — high-tech fencing — makes sense over here, technology makes sense over here,’ I have no doubt that he will go tell me to do it,” Kelly told a Senate committee in April.
A Look At Trumps Border Wall Prototypes
Along the border, six construction companies have built eight border wall prototypes
Trump conceded last year in an immigration meeting with lawmakers that a wall or barrier is not the most effective mechanism to curb illegal immigration, recognizing it would accomplish less than a major expansion of U.S. enforcement powers and deportation authority. But he told lawmakers that his supporters want a wall and that he has to deliver it.
Trump talked about the loud cheers the wall brought at rallies, according to one person with direct knowledge of the meeting.
Former White House chief of staff John F. Kelly would often tell administration officials to disregard the presidents demands if Kelly did not think they were feasible or legally sound, according to current and former aides.
During a conference call last week, officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Army Corps engineers that the hundreds of miles of fencing must be completed before the next presidential election, according to administration officials with knowledge of the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal communications.
Military officials expect more contract protests because the arrangements have been rushed, the official added. The Army Corps already has had to take corrective actions for two procurement contracts, after companies protested.
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What Will The Wall Look Like
One bidder for the Mexican wall contract wants to cover it with solar panels, while another wants to make a barrier big enough for a deck offering tourists scenic views of the desert.
The deadline for bids has passed and between four and eight companies will be selected to submit prototypes in September 2017.
Designs must be able to repel pickaxes and sledgehammers for at least an hour and be nice to look at at least from the north side.
Concrete Contractors Interstate proposed a polished concrete wall augmented with stones and artefacts that are tailored to different sections of the 2,000-mile border.
Russ Baumgartner, CEO of the San Diego-based company, said: The idea is to make the wall a piece of art.
Gleason Partners LLC of Las Vegas said its solar panels would generate two megawatts of electricity an hour.
DarkPulse Technologies of Scottsdale, Arizona, proposed a concrete wall that can withstand tampering or attacks of any kind.
Clayton Industries of Pittsburgh proposed storing nuclear waste along the wall in trenches that are at least 100ft deep.
Bidders have started building prototype walls, each of which will be 30ft long and 30ft tall.
Once constructed, the US border agency will decide which of the prototypes, if any, it wishes to use on the border.
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?
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Trump Ties Wall Funding To Government Shutdown
Is President Donald Trump ready to compromise on his plan to make Mexico pay for a border wall? During an Aug. 22 rally in Phoenix, Trump brought up the wall many times but did not say that Mexico will pay for it, as he had repeatedly done on the campaign trail.
He did say one thing new to our ears: He threatened a government shutdown if “obstructionist Democrats” try to prevent the wall from being built.
“And we are building a wall on the southern border, which is absolutely necessary,” Trump said. “Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it. But believe me, if we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
One possible source of funding is making its way through Congress.
The House of Representatives on July 27 passed a $790 billion funding bill that includes $1.6 billion for 28 miles of new levee wall and 46 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress and the White House must agree on a funding plan before Sept. 30, the start of the next fiscal year.
Trump’s threat to shut down the government comes a few weeks after a leaked transcript of a phone call between Trump and Mexican President Pena Nieto showed the two leaders butting heads over which country would foot the bill.
During the , Trump asked Nieto to stop saying publicly that Mexico will not pay for the wall because it put Trump in a political bind.
Trump Wants To Build A Wall On The Us
Donald Trump promises to build a great wall along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican border and make Mexico pay for it, but it will be a difficult pledge to fulfill.
Can he do it?
Sure, a wall can be built, but it’s not nearly as simple as Trump says it will be.
Constructing the wall, now a signature applause line at Trump campaign rallies, is a complicated endeavor, fraught with difficulties. Numerous bureaucratic, diplomatic, environmental, monetary and logistical hurdles must be overcome.
And forcing the Mexican government to foot the bill won’t be easy, especially since its president has flat-out refused.
During President George W. Bush’s second term, Congress authorized $1.2 billion to build several hundred miles of double-layer fencing but the government faced myriad obstacles. Private landowners objecting to buyout offers. There were environmental concerns and lawsuits.
Some 650 miles of border fencing now sits on the border, including roughly 15-foot tall steel fencing in many urban areas that is designed to stop or slow border crossers on foot and vehicle barriers, which are shorter steel posts filled with cement and planted in the ground.
Just getting that built was a challenge and a new, taller wall like the one Trump wants would almost certainly face as much, if not more, opposition.
Then there’s the cost.
Getting the Mexican government to pay for it outright is almost certainly wishful thinking.
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Is Donald Trump Building A Wall On The Us
President Trump has made repeated references to the ‘big, beautiful wall’ but there are questions over funding and support for his plan
- 17:00, 21 Dec 2018
ONE of Donald Trump’s most famous presidential campaign pledges was to construct a “great, great wall” on America’s southern border with Mexico.
Designs have been revealed but with ever-increasing questions over funding and congressional support for the project, will Trump ever see the “big, beautiful wall” he promised his supporters?
The Barrier Is Unlikely To Stop Most Kinds Of Drugs Coming Into The Us
Mr Trump has claimed in the past that 90% of heroin in the US comes across the southern border and that a wall would help the fight against drugs.
However strengthening and extending the border barrier is unlikely to do much to reduce illegal drugs – such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine – because most come through established border checkpoints, known as ports of entry.
While the majority of the heroin in the US does come from Mexico, the Drug Enforcement Administration says most of it is hidden in privately owned vehicles or transporter lorries, mixed with other goods, and smuggled through legal entry points.
CBP figures for drugs – excluding marijuana – seized on the southern border also show most come through ports of entry, although a report by the Congressional Research Service does state that border barriers can serve to push people to cross in places where they are more likely to be “detected, intercepted, and detained”.
Rodney Scott, chief of the US Border Patrol, agrees – and gives the example of San Diego, where he says cartel lorries used to drive across the border “three or four at a time on an almost daily basis, with high-speed pursuits throughout town”.
Smugglers also appear increasingly to be using boats to try to land drugs on the beaches of southern California – with the numbers intercepted by CBP’s air and marine operations jumping 82% last year.
Design by Zoe Bartholomew and Gerry Fletcher
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