There’s nothing new with Trump’s border wall.
“So much of this border wall remains unbuilt. There’s 86 miles of wall that has been refurbished under the Trump administration, but there has been no new construction,” @JordynPhelps tells @devindwyer about President Trump’s proposed southern border wall https://t.co/kPMZ7Pi5tq pic.twitter.com/K8e13bPlj2
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) November 26, 2019
According to ABC News, it doesn’t yet exist.
“Three years in to the Trump administration, the president’s key campaign promise – building that southern border wall – still remains elusive,” reporter Jordyn Phelps told America Tuesday. “So the president has put his son-in-law in charge of trying to make this happen, leading a small group of people within the administration to really grease these wheels and get gears going into motion.”
Phelps contends Jared Kushner “has been really ruffling some feathers of career officials … in that process because Kushner is asking them to push through processes that are in place for a reason.”
“One of the things, obviously, that is standing in the way of the president getting that promise is all of that private land that would need to be seized to complete it,” she said, adding that “so much of this border wall remains unbuilt.”
Phelps contends there’s several dozen miles of existing wall that’s been replaced, but nothing new.
“There’s 86 miles of wall that has been refurbished under the Trump administration, but there’s been no new construction,” she said. “All the wall that has been built were in areas where there was already some sort of existing barrier, so still a long way to go before the president completes this promise … just a year to go.”
While technically accurate, Phelps didn’t elaborate on what she referred to as “refurbished,” nor did she reference comments from new Acting Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, who disputed the characterization during a tour of new construction underway near Donna, Texas this week, Fox News reports.
“When we tear down 1970s era landing mat wall that is seven-eight feet high and you put up what’s behind us, that’s not replacement wall – that is a new wall that is a new physical infrastructure,” he said from a podium, dwarfed by the massive 30-foot steel and concrete bollard wall. “So I don’t agree with the assertion that we’re simply replacing wall by constructing what’s behind us in places that have never had this type of physical infrastructure.”
The visit to Texas comes as the Trump administration ramps up efforts to build up to 500 miles of border wall by the end of the year, Wolf said.
“It’s common sense,” he said. “No one disputes that we should give our men and women in the military the best equipment to keep them safe and to keep our country safe. Why should things be any different for the men and women of the Border Patrol, who are protecting our homeland?”
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported cartel smugglers have already sawed through the new style barrier in some places, and last month rock climbers in Kentucky posted video to Facebook of an 8-year-old girl scaling a replica 18-foot border wall in about a minute. The government is currently constructing both 18-foot and 30-foot barriers, depending on the location.
Trump has defended the slow wall construction and design type, as have Border Patrol agents that point out that while not completely impenetrable, the wall significantly slows crossings to give officials time to respond. In high traffic areas, there’s actually two walls.
Currently, there 158 miles of barrier currently under construction, and another 276 in the “preconstruction” phase, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told The Post.