By: Dan Angell
The Trump administration has completed 20 miles of construction on a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, despite the White House's claim that it’s on track to have 500 miles built by the end of next year.
President Donald Trump has promised his supporters he would build a wall on the border with Mexico and get the Mexican government to pay for it, but he has since requested the funding come from Congress. Despite shutting down the government to get funding, little progress has been made on such a wall.
“Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed” – Donald Trump on Twitter, in response to criticism over the lack of a wall.
“If you become VERY proficient at English, @realDonaldTrump, someday you will understand the meaning of the word ‘WALL.’” – Ann Coulter, conservative political commentator and advocate for a full wall on the border.
Coulter, once one of Trump's strongest supporters, has since turned on him because the wall has not proceeded fast enough for her liking. On May 22, she claimed the president had completed 1.7 miles of wall “could be off+/- several inches,” she said.
That figure was reiterated in federal court by a lawyer for the House of Representatives, which has filed a lawsuit to try to stop the Trump administration from moving funds around to get around Congress' refusal to fund the wall.
U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden has questioned whether the House has standing to sue to prevent the White House from reallocating funds. A ruling is pending, and the lawsuit is one of seven against the proposed wall.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) have called the action a “power grab” by Trump and an attempt to get the wall without congressional approval.
The border between the United States and Mexico measures 1,954 miles long.
Because of the 1970 Boundary Treaty, nothing can be built that obstructs the flow of the Rio Grande, which makes up at least 800 miles of the Texas-Mexico border.
Roughly 500 miles of the border had existing fencing in place from the 2006 Secure Fencing Act, which mainly focused on California and Arizona's borders with Mexico.
Mexico has consistently refused to contribute anything toward the wall, and in January 2019, Trump backed off his claims that Mexico would pay directly for the wall.
Dan Angell is a writer from Indianapolis; contact him at [email protected]