With just over a week remaining in his term, President Trump is expected to celebrate progress on one of his featured campaign promises: a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a senior administration official, Trump will be in Alamo, Texas on Tuesday after the White House marked roughly 450 miles of the barrier being completed.
AS TRUMP’S BORDER WALL TOPS 450-MILE GOAL, CBP CHIEF SAYS MORE WALL IS COMING
“President Trump is expected to travel to Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday to mark the completion of more than 400 miles of border wall — a promise made, promise kept — and his Administration’s efforts to reform our broken immigration system,” the official said.
The visit is scheduled to take place the same week that the U.S. House of Representatives moves toward an impeachment vote after Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.
In 2019, Trump had pledged to have 450 miles of the wall completed by the end of 2020. In January 2020, only 100 miles were done.
In February 2016, Trump told MSNBC that a wall was needed along 1,000 miles of the border that does not already have natural barriers. After four years, the administration says they have made progress towards achieving most of that. Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters last week that $1.375 billion that was included in the recent omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump out of a total of about $16 billion in funding is enough to complete 800 miles.
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“So in addition to the 450 that we’ve already got on the ground, we’ve got funded 350 miles of wall system to go in the ground,” Morgan said. “The overwhelming amount of those miles, that funding, the contracts have already been awarded.”
The future of construction at the border, however, is unclear. President-elect Joe Biden opposed wall construction and has promised that “there will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.”
However, it might not be that simple. Morgan warned that with those contracts already awarded, it would cost the U.S. “billions” to suddenly walk away from them and could cost thousands of jobs.
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Other estimates have challenged Morgan’s claim. The Washington Post reported that it could actually save money — approximately $2.6 billion — according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates.
Speaking to reporters, Morgan did not address the report directly but acknowledged broadly that there had been some “spin,” suggesting it wouldn’t be costly to cancel the contract.
Fox News’ David Spunt and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.