Trump keeps bragging about his 'big, beautiful wall' — but not a single mile of it is new.
Trump has been promising a big, beautiful wall for years now, but even after declaring a national emergency, there still isn't a single section of new wall to show for it. Instead, all that has happened is that existing fences and other barriers have been beefed up or replaced.
In total, the administration has thus far only repaired or replaced 60 miles of the border barrier. Even conservative news outlets like the Washington Examiner, usually a reliable cheerleader for Trump, have admitted that there's no new wall. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency also confirmed the complete failure to get any new wall built.
That isn't stopping Trump from celebrating his own achievements. Earlier this year, Trump spent taxpayer dollars to visit a plaque commemorating "completion of the first section of President Trump's border wall." That section was just a refurb as well.
In recent days, Trump has stepped up his insistence that the wall is getting built. Earlier this month, he bragged on Twitter that "we are building a big, beautiful, NEW Wall!" Even so, the pictures in the tweet were only of existing stretches of the wall being replaced. The official White House Twitter account also tweeted out photos of wall construction near Mesa, California, but there's no evidence that's new wall either.
Incredibly, the administration claims that it will build 450 miles of wall, new and otherwise, by the end of 2020. Given how long it has taken to replace a mere 60 miles, even with Trump's declaration of a national emergency, it seems unlikely that somehow nearly five times that amount will be constructed in the next 16 months.
Axios asked a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official how long it would be before an actual new piece of wall — in a place where no barrier existed before — would be built. The DHS official couldn't even say.
Turns out that the wall is like many of Trump's construction projects: an expensive scam where others are left holding the bag. This time, sadly, it's American taxpayers who got fleeced.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.