President Trump on Tuesday toured new construction of the wall at the southern border in Arizona, marking more than 200 miles of wall built — as he seeks to show that he has delivered on what became a central and controversial 2016 election promise.
“So my administration has done more than any administration in history to secure our southern border, our border has never been more secure,” he said in remarks at a roundtable in Yuma, Ariz., before he toured the wall.
Trump was joined by top officials at the roundtable, including Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. He later went on to sign part of the wall.
Then-presidential candidate Trump repeatedly pledged during his 2016 campaign that “I will build a great, great, wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall,” to slow down the entry of illegal immigrants and drugs into the U.S. The vow was one of the centerpieces of his successful presidential bid.
But the effort to get it built was hit by a series of political, legal and funding issues — and even led to a government shutdown last year on the issue. But after winning a court battle over efforts to reappropriate Pentagon funding, construction accelerated this year.
Trump has promised to hit 450 miles of construction by the end of the year, and as of Tuesday has hit 216 miles. While it remains to be seen if he will meet that target, Morgan told Fox News last month that wall construction had sped up since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March.