Oct 26, 2019 by

Trump Wall

10.25.19 – FoxNews

“First construction of brand-new border wall in Texas begins”

By Maxim Lott

Construction on a new border wall in Texas where none previously existed has begun along the Rio Grande river, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to Fox News on Friday.

While 75 miles of wall has already been built under the Trump administration, until now all of those structures replaced existing ones such as vehicle barriers or dilapidated fences, which were ineffective before being replaced, according to the agency.

The brand-new wall is under construction southeast of McAllen in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley sector, which sees the most illegal crossings of any border sector, with more than 325,000 people apprehended there through August this year, according to CBP.

“Rio Grande Valley is by far our busiest sector, so getting this new wall system capability down there for [the agents] is truly a game-changer,” a CBP spokesman said. “Just last week, the agents on the frontlines told us the wall is something they need.”

… “People can walk through or across a vehicle barrier with drugs or other contraband, but can’t walk through an 18- to 30-foot wall with anti-climb features, sensors and cameras,” the spokesman said.

…Now, wall advocates are excited that the project is advancing and note that illegal crossings are falling dramatically from summer peaks, in part due to Mexico stepping up enforcement of its borders and in part thanks to renovated wall sections.

“They’re making progress,” Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told Fox News. “They desperately need more barriers down there because that’s one of the main places people are crossing.”

Customs and Border Patrol said that about 100 miles of wall are ultimately expected to go up in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

The new work is part of additional planned construction: a CBP document showed that contracts have already been awarded for the construction of 79 miles of new wall in areas where no fences exist currentlyA CBP document showed maps of where the new wall is likely to be built.

By the end of 2020, the agency aims to have completed 141 miles of brand-new wall, along with 273 miles of replacement wall, for a total of more than 400 miles of border barriers.

The funding for the project in Texas comes from congressional appropriations and is separate from construction funding authorized via an emergency order by President Trump. Border Protection estimated that each mile of wall costs about $17 million dollars.

…In the fiscal year 2019, more than 800,000 people have been illegally apprehended while crossing America’s southern border, CBP said.

Supporters of tighter border controls cheered the construction as the latest in a string of good news about strengthening border security.

“The apprehension numbers have been going down since the peak in May,” Krikorian said. Illegal crossings hit new records this past summer, but by September had fallen below 2016 levels for that month, according to CBP.

“Mexico is doing a better job of stopping people,” Krikorian said, also noting that the Trump administration has been closing the “catch and release” loophole by requiring asylum applicants to wait in Mexico while their cases are pending.

Mexico agreed to an arrangement to allow the U.S. to send foreign nationals to Mexico to wait after Trump said he would impose tariffs. Mexico also dramatically increased its own border protection, sending nearly 15,000 troops to its northern border to apprehend migrants before they crossed…

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