So far, Trump’s administration has spent $15 billion on adding to and reinforcing areas with existing barriers and building brand new 30-foot-tall bollard fencing.
While 400 miles of these see-through black metal slats have been built, only 12 miles of the border did not have some sort of existing barrier before construction commenced, The Dallas Morning News noted in a report Wednesday evening.
Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar said that voters not opting for a second Trump term was largely due to Americans’ opposition to the border wall.
‘It was a referendum on the wall,’ said Cuellar, who represents Texas’ 28th District, which spans from San Antonio to the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Joe Biden will immediately stop construction of the southern border wall once taking office
Biden will, however, leave all 400 miles of already erected wall in place, which cost $15 billion
Since most of the project included reinforcing or completely building new wall were existing wall was standing, under Trump’s administration only 12 miles of border wall were constructed where there was not some other existing barrier
Cuellar serves on the House Appropriations Committee and has worked there to hinder Trump’s budget maneuvers that have syphoned billions from military spending to build the wall when Congress would not approve the massive spending outright.
Biden, who was declared the winner of the presidential election by most major media outlets over the weekend, vowed during his campaign to stop the border wall project.
The wall was one of Trump’s biggest campaign promises in 2016, as supporters would famously chant, ‘Build the wall,’ at his rallies – and still do to this day.
Trump vowed to create an unscalable wall that would span from the eastern most part of the U.S. to the western-most and stop the flow of illegal immigration, drug trafficking and crime from coming over the border from Mexico.
The president’s supporters view the wall as not only an actual deterrent and barrier to smuggling and illegal border crossing, but also a symbol that illegal immigrants are not welcome as the U.S. tightens security.
Immigration advocates have criticized the move calling it an affront on immigrants.
‘The wall came up after Trump came in. I think they will lose their appetite to fight for the wall,’ Cuellar said of the president’s supporters both in and outside of government.
He says that he sees little will from politicians on the right to push ahead with it once Trump leaves office.
While only 12 miles of the border wall Trump constructed have added onto the length of existing barriers, the rest of the hundreds of miles of new construction have upgraded or even completely replaced shorter or less sturdy fencing.
In some areas, it even provides a second layer of wall meant to slow illegal crossers, smugglers and human traffickers long enough for Customs and Border Patrol agents to respond to the area.
A border wall was not part of the Republican agenda before Trump ran for president in 2016, and Democrats feel that issue will go away once he is no longer in the White House
Immigration advocates criticize the wall as a way to discourage immigration from the south and stop refugees from coming to the U.S.
Biden declared himself the president-elect over the weekend, and has said he won’t dismantle Trump’s physical legacy but won’t carry on with additional construction.
He also will work to undo curbs the Trump administration curbs to refugee and immigration admission and other policies that were put in place mostly through executive orders.
Just days before Election Day, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that by the end of 2020, 450 miles of the border wall will be completed.
He also said at the time marking 400 miles done, that another 210 miles are under construction currently.
‘The many miles of border wall system exists because of the will and vision of President Trump, and the dedication and hard work of the men and women of DHS, the Army Corps of Engineers and our colleagues from across the administration,’ Wolf said in McAllen, Texas as a group celebrated completion of 400 miles. ‘While this is an important milestone, we are building even more wall.’