Trump to celebrate just 3 new miles of border wall on trip to Arizona


More than three years into his tenure, Trump has made little progress on his signature campaign promise.

Donald Trump is headed to Arizona on Tuesday, where he'll hold a photo-op commemorating the 200th mile of southern border wall constructed under his administration.

However, a closer look at the numbers shows that Trump has made little progress on his signature campaign promise of building 1,000 new miles of border wall between the United States and Mexico.

Since January 2017, when Trump was inaugurated, the Trump administration has built just 216 miles of wall, according to CNN.

Of those 216 miles, a paltry three are new miles of wall where no wall existed before. The rest simply replaced existing structures.

With six months to go before the end of the year, the administration is also far short of the 450 miles of border wall his administration said it would build by the end of 2020, CNN reported.

And that is also far short of the 1,000 miles of physical border wall Trump promised to build between the United States and Mexico when he campaigned for office in 2016.

"As far as the wall is concerned, we're going to build a wall. We're going to create a border. We're going to let people in, but they're going to come in legally...and it's something that can be done, and I get questioned about that," Trump said at a GOP primary debate in October 2015.

He added, "They built the Great Wall of China. That's 13,000 miles. Here, we actually need 1,000 because we have natural barriers. So we need 1,000."

Trump also promised that Mexico would pay for the wall. Mexico refused.

With less than five months to go before Election Day, Trump now appears to be claiming victory.

Trump has held photo-ops at the border before. In April 2019, he traveled to California to visit a rebuilt section of border wall affixed with a plaque that had his name in large capital letters.

The wall was not new, but rather replaced a section that had been built during the Vietnam War.

Trump's border wall has run into numerous road blocks over the years.

First, Congress refused to appropriate funds for the wall, forcing Trump to use his emergency powers to raid funding lawmakers had designated for other projects.

And it's sparked legal battles, as the Trump administration has tried to seize property from landowners through eminent domain.

Trump's visit to Arizona notably comes as the state sees a spike in coronavirus cases.

It's led officials to worry that the visit could further spread the virus in the state, where cases have doubled over the past two weeks, according to NBC News.

"We're not going to try to ban the president from coming here, because I think it causes more problems, and not sure of the legality of it," Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) told NBC. "But for God's sake, when you're in that crowd and everyone is next to each other, please be responsible. Wear a mask."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.