Political News

Trump Misleadingly Says Construction Has Begun on His Border Wall

Posted May 11, 2018 4:55 p.m. EDT

What Was Said:

“We have already begun construction on the wall.”

— President Donald Trump at a rally in Indiana on Thursday

The Facts:

This is misleading.

During his campaign in 2016, Trump promised to construct a 1,000-mile-long border wall that would be paid for by Mexico.

Prototypes for the border wall were unveiled in late October, and Trump visited San Diego to view them in March. The prototypes have not been used to construct a border wall, nor has the wall been funded. However, construction has begun on a few projects that would replace old barriers with new barriers.

A White House spokesman cited projects in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, and Calexico, California, as evidence for Trump’s claim that construction on the wall had commenced.

According to Customs and Border Protection, the Santa Teresa project will replace 20 miles of vehicle barriers with a “bollard-style wall.”

The new barrier, a Border Patrol official said in a news conference, will not be based on the prototypes and will actually be the “same wall” as existing bollard barriers just a few miles away in Sunland Park, New Mexico, which Customs and Border Protection had previously called “fencing.”

In Calexico, the agency said it would replace 2.5 miles of a barrier made out of “recycled scraps of metal and old landing mat” with a 30-foot-high bollard-style “wall.” But local officials have characterized it as a long-planned local infrastructure project that “isn’t Trump’s wall.”

Trump received nearly $1.6 billion in funding for border security in the spending bill he signed in late March. The spending bill specifies that the $1.6 billion can fund only “operationally effective designs deployed” before May 2017. This definition would disqualify building a wall based on the prototypes that were unveiled in October.