by WorldTribune Staff, October 30, 2020
Touting 400 miles of border wall, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf of Thursday said “we can confidently say that our border is more secure now than at any time in our history.”
The Army Corps of Engineers and Customs and Border Protection built more than a mile of new border wall a day over the summer, Wolf said, noting that critics had said President Donald Trump would never make good on his promise to “build the wall.”
Wolf pointed to a Los Angeles Times headline from 2018 that suggested the wall was “a promise Trump can’t keep.” The Washington Post was even more definitive in 2017, proclaiming: “Sorry, Trump voter, you got scammed. You’re never going to get your wall.”
“Not only has the media and politicians been proven wrong, they have been proven wrong 400 times — and counting,” Wolf said.
Reporting for The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan noted the 654 miles of border wall Trump inherited “were comprised of 354 miles of fencing, a mishmash of styles, and another 300 miles of what was known as ‘Normandy-style’ vehicle barrier, which could stop a car or truck but was easy to hop over or crawl under for those on foot.”
“More than 170 miles of the Normandy barrier has been replaced with a full wall, and more than 135 miles of outdated fencing was replaced with the new higher, tougher wall,” Dinan noted. “Additionally, about 30 more miles of wall were erected as a second tier, set back from the primary wall along the border, with a road running between them.”
Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott told reporters this month that they’re getting a good return on the new investment. He said one 12-mile section of wall was so successful in changing crossing patterns that they were able to redeploy 150 agents elsewhere, or the equivalent of a $20 million return on investment each year.
Trump in August, while touring the border in Arizona to mark 300 miles of wall construction, renewed his vow that Mexico will pay, suggesting a “toll” on money being sent across the border.
“It doesn’t matter whether they pay for it now or over the next couple months. Mexico will be paying,” he said.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union, which is part of an anti-wall lawsuit, says if its position prevails at the Supreme Court, it will demand that the wall erected with challenged Pentagon funds be torn down.
Wolf on Thursday said the demands for the wall come directly from the agents who patrol the border.
“If you are against the wall, you are against the men and women of Border Patrol. It’s that simple.”