On Tuesday, BNN Bloomberg reported that the $1.57 billion allocated to the building of the southern border wall has “yielded just 1.7 miles” of new wall thus far.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection has put up just 1.7 miles of fencing with the US$1.57 billion that Congress appropriated last year for President Donald Trump’s wall along the Mexican border, a federal judge was told,” the outlet reports. “A lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives provided the information Tuesday to the judge in Oakland, California, who is weighing requests from 20 state attorneys general and the the Sierra Club to block Trump from using funds not authorized by Congress to build the wall.”
In a court filing, the lawyer told U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam that according to information provided by the administration, as of April 30, 2019, “it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding.”
But in a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Trump blasted the claims as misleading.
“Much of the Wall being built at the Southern Border is a complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers with a brand new Wall and footings,” he wrote. “Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed. Also, tremendous work is being done on pure renovation – fixing existing Walls that are in bad condition and ineffective, and bringing them to a very high standard!”
After Democrats refused to give him the full $5 billion he requested for border wall construction, prompting the longest partial government shutdown in history, Trump declared a national emergency at the border over the humanitarian crisis caused by a massive influx of illegal immigrants, which has overwhelmed our already overburdened immigration system. That declaration allows Trump to redirect billions to the border.
Democrats, however, are attempting to cap how much Trump can allocate to the construction of the border wall. “Rep. John Garamendi, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, suggested in a Thursday statement cited by Defense News that the president was using the military construction budget ‘and other critical projects as a personal slush fund to fulfill a campaign promise,'” Business Insider reported last week. “Garamendi, whose subcommittee oversees military construction, presented a bill Wednesday that would cap military spending at $250 million per national emergency, Defense News reported.”
Along with the resources Trump has opened up through the emergency declaration, he is also asking Congress for $4.5 billion to address non-border wall immigration needs. After denying it for months, Democrats have finally agreed that we are indeed facing a “humanitarian crisis” at the border, but they are still reluctant to fully approve of Trump’s request. “Democrats said they would review the request but raised concerns about some of the proposals,” USA Today reported when Trump first made the request three weeks ago. “More than $150 million of the new money would be used to accommodate ‘significant increases’ in immigrants detained, for instance.”
Trump is also requesting $8.6 billion in funding for the border wall for the new budget, which is over six times the amount provided in the past two budgets and a request that Democrats will almost certainly reject.