President Trump is ramping up construction for the southern border wall while most of the country is still locked down to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
According to Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, who spoke exclusively with Fox News, the wall’s construction has be “sped up” and remains a “top priority” for the Trump administration.
“This pandemic has not slowed the construction of the border wall system. In fact, we’re increasing the pace of construction,” he said.
“COVID-19 should be a wake-up call for all Americans that border security is national security. Preventing and slowing down the introduction of a deadly virus into the U.S. from outside our borders is exactly why border security matters, and why the wall matters,” Morgan continued.
“Border security is national security and the border wall system is a priority in protecting the American people. We’ve been consistent about our need for a wall, and we are full steam ahead on its construction,” Morgan told Fox News.
“Keep in mind that a comprehensive border wall system is not just a physical structure, but it also includes more roads for Border Patrol enforcement, and ever-evolving technology like cameras and sensors — equipment that is vital for confronting the unique and diverse threats we face, including pandemics,” he added.
Fox News reports the Trump administration has finished 182 miles of the wall and is trying to complete 450 miles of the new border wall by the end of the year.
The only thing potentially standing in the way of meeting that goal is additional funding from Congress. The administration celebrated the 100th mile constructed in January but was not able to surpass the 150-mile mark until just last month. The funding feud is likely to continue as Democrats do not want to give Trump any more money for the wall.
Fox News adds:
Last month, dozens of House and Senate Democrats wrote to the administration urging it to halt all border wall construction.
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“Money that should be invested in health care, small businesses and fighting the spread of COVID-19 is instead being used to build an ineffective and wasteful border wall that does not solve our immigration crisis or protect our homeland,” the lawmakers wrote, according to Politico. “We should be using all resources and funding to combat this virus and protect Americans, instead of using critical funding and resources to continue the construction of a border wall.”
It’s an argument that the administration flatly rejects — and it has pushed a number of immigration and border-related measures in response to the crisis, including allowing CBP to immediately return those who enter the country illegally, as well as limiting nonessential travel at both the southern border and the U.S. border with Canada.