Good News: We've Finished 50 Miles Of New Border Wall

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Posted: Jul 22, 2019 3:14 PM
Good News: We've Finished 50 Miles Of New Border Wall

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The border crisis still hasn’t been resolved. The Department of Homeland Security needs for funds to deal with the overcrowding at the detention centers; border apprehensions have hit 100,000 or more over the past few months. It’s a crisis that was wholly avoidable if both parties actually agreed on enforcing immigration laws. The impact of the overcrowding also could have been lessened if the Democrats didn’t think this was a manufactured crisis. With the loss of the House to Democrats during the 2018 midterms, any hope for full wall funding or changing of the asylum laws is dead. Trump re-appropriated DoD for portions of the wall, which drove Democrat ballistic. They filed a lawsuit to block the funds, but a judge rejected it. Now, some 50 miles of the wall was announced to be completed by DHS:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has completed construction of approximately 50 miles of new bollard wall projects authorized by funding from fiscal years 2017 and 2018.  

Since January 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have received funding to support construction of up to approximately 201-205 miles of new border barriers through a combination of appropriations and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (TFF). This funding is supporting the top border barrier priorities for the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP).

In fiscal year 2017 CBP received $341 million for the construction of approximately 40 miles of new Bollard Wall and gates in priority areas at the San Diego, El Centro, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley Sectors. To this date, CBP has completed the construction of approximately 99 percent of the 40 miles funded in fiscal year 2017. Additionally, construction of 35 gates to close gaps in current border infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley sector continues. 

Still, legal challenges remain from Obama-appointed judges (via WaPo):

A federal judge … expanded a ban on construction of President Trump’s signature southern border wall that would have used money to build a wall that Congress never appropriated.

U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., of Oakland, Calif., blocked construction on four of the administration’s highest-priority projects on the U.S.-Mexico border spanning 79 miles near El Centro, Calif., and Tucson. The Pentagon had moved to fund the projects using $1. 5 billion transferred into a Defense Department counterdrug program from military pay and training accounts.

In his order granting a permanent halt on the construction, Gilliam also cleared the path for an immediate appeal.

Gilliam last month in part of the same case temporarily stopped another $1 billion transfer for work on stretches totaling 50 miles in eastern New Mexico and Yuma, Ariz.