Trump’s partially constructed ‘big, beautiful wall’

In the end, president Donald Trump built a mere fraction of what the promised.


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On` June 23, 2020, president Donald Trump tourism a section of the border wall surface in mountain Luis, Ariz. | AP Photo/Evan Vucci


Donald trump is draw close the end of his presidency the same way he began his candidacy: talking about a border wall.

It has been much more than five years since Trump announced his presidential bid with a promise to build a “great, great wall” follow me the U.S.-Mexico border. In the end, Trump developed a mere fraction of what he promised, 452 mile of a wall — many of which changed old, existing fencing. And also he never got Mexico come pay because that it.


Still, trump visited the city of Alamo in Texas’ Rio Grande valley on Tuesday to tout the border wall as a “promise made, promise kept” by his management while he faces a residence vote ~ above Wednesday come impeach that again — and also he continues to confront fallout indigenous his own party because that urging his pendant to march come the U.S. Capitol, which led to a fatal riot.

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But his partially developed border wall surface is a reminder, in the end, the unfulfilled promises. However, Democrats, previous U.S. And Mexico officials, immigrant advocates and migration specialists agree: It remains a price of the trump card presidency, defined from the beginning by anti-immigrant rhetoric and hardline policies.

“What he accomplished in 4 years v the wall surface could’ve to be done in a bipartisan way with much less noise. However that was never the purpose. That wasn’t about the wall,” said Andrew Selee, chairman of the nonpartisan Migration plan Institute.

“This was always around a larger symbolism around walling turn off America from external dangers,” Selee added.

The 452 mile of border wall that have actually been constructed are only a portion of the 1,954 mile of U.S.-Mexico border. And also only a small section of the 452 mile — around 40 miles together of Dec. 18, follow to a Customs and Border security report published by nonpartisan Factcheck.org — is freshly constructed wall surface where none formerly existed.

“It’s really a failure,” claimed Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a lawmaker representing part of the border. “Instead of speak let’s heal the country together. It’s no happening. His priority is the fence. His priorities are his priorities and also not the country’s.”

Tuesday afternoon, Trump provided his speech greatly as a success lap because that his administration’s immigration policies, claiming that “ended the immigrant chaos and also reestablished American sovereignty.” He claimed the partially-built wall is “one of the largest infrastructure projects in the history of our country.”

“We reformed our immigration system and achieved the most secure southern border in U.S. History,” Trump claimed in a 22-minute speech with the border wall as a backdrop.

Migration experts conflict the success the Trump’s wall and policies provided that there have actually been repeated surges in illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border throughout his presidency.

Some Democrats and immigrant supporters said they were worried about the potential for violence throughout Trump’s visit — specifically given the recent insurrection and the president’s longstanding anti-immigrant rhetoric.

“It’s incredibly dangerous,” claimed Alida Garcia, vice chairman of advocacy at FWD.us, a bipartisan pro-immigration group. “We’ve seen since the an initial two minute of president Trump launching his campaign that he wanted to define a battle in price quotes along the border and against immigrants, Latinx people, asylum seekers and also Mexicans.”

The Trump management has spent more than $15 billion on the border wall project — every one of it coming from one of two people appropriations from congress or diverted funds from the Defense Department. None of it to be paid for by Mexico — a promise Trump repeatedly made ~ above the 2016 campaign trail, yet which was totally shut down by mexico officials under two different administrations.

CBP exhilaration Commissioner mark Morgan said in a press contact last week the company already has capital to complete another 300 mile of obstacles and aims to award contracts because that construction before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Biden has actually previously vowed that there “will not be one more foot of wall surface constructed” throughout his administration, however existing contracts might complicate initiatives to prevent some construction. He likewise has stated he will not tear down components of the wall surface built under Trump. Biden will be under pressure to follow with on a long immigration to-do list that contains undoing lot of Trump’s immigration policies — and delivering more pro-immigrant policies than chairman Barack Obama, that was referred to as the “Deporter in Chief.”

Trump’s visit clues the very first time he has stepped out in public due to the fact that the fatal riots at the Capitol. In current days, he’s been significantly isolated, still complaining about the choice he shed to Biden, and not having events on his daily schedule. Meanwhile, number of Trump administration officials have resigned following the insurrection.

On Monday, acting Homeland protection Secretary Chad wolf announced he would action down indigenous his position, citing “recent events,” including recent court rulings difficult the legality the his meeting to the post. “These events and also concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources far from the important work that the department in this an important time the a change of power,” Wolf created in a letter come the department.

The White home did not share front of the pilgrimage who would certainly accompany the president on his Texas expedition or whom he would accomplish with once there, however Trump provided a shoutout come Morgan, who was in the audience. Meanwhile, Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to be not present to satisfy Trump. Instead, they were in Austin on Tuesday because that the very first day that the Texas legislative branch session, Texas Tribune reported.

Members of the Hidalgo ar GOP, however, were “calling every Conservatives, Patriots & liberty Fighters” ~ above Facebook and also Twitter come welcome Trump come the border area with posters. While Biden comfortably won in the Latino-majority county, it’s among the areas in south Texas where Trump made his most far-ranging improvements in the 2020 election. Trump increased his number in Hidalgo county by more than 23 percent contrasted to 2016, however still lost by 17 percent.

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The City that Alamo top top Monday afternoon said the Trump management did not formally call them around the president’s trip, which was announced over the weekend. Robert Salinas, Alamo’s city manager, urged that all demonstrations it is in “peaceful and respectful.” James Darling, market of bordering city McAllen, claimed he understands “that emotions room high ~ above both sides,” however called for tranquil demonstrations.

Other Texas border Democrats, like Reps. Vicente González and also Filemon Vela, top top Monday urged because that Trump come cancel the trip and also for elected officials to boycott his visit. Vela stated that trump should emphasis less on the wall and much more on the pandemic, provided how hard-hit the Rio Grande Valley has actually been by Covid-19.

“If the chairman insists on follow this garbage trip, he need to not display up empty handed. He should carry hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses and also the army personnel necessary to assist inoculate the citizens of southern Texas,” Vela said.