President Trump Makes Good on Promise to Build 450 Miles of Border Wall by End of 2020
Promises made, promises kept.
Much like President Donald Trump’s optimistic coronavirus vaccine timeline, his promise to build 450 miles of new border wall by the end of 2020 was inevitably met with doubt by the media. One Newsweek writer in July opined that “Trump will have to oversee the construction of more than one mile of border wall per day before the end of 2020 if he wants to fulfill his 2016 campaign promise to see at least 450 miles of border wall built by the end of the year,” arguing that logistics were not on his side.
So to achieve their ambitious goal, the Trump administration then went ahead and built more than one mile of border wall per day before the end of 2020.
According to the Washington Examiner’s Anna Giartelli:
Construction workers put up the 450th mile of fencing in the final days of December, acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said in a private call with several reporters Tuesday morning.
“Myself and the deputy commissioner, leaders here, we found out about it — we were briefed on Dec. 31 that we had actually reached the goal, and we had accomplished what we set out to accomplish,” Morgan said.
“I remember every time that I said with confidence that I, without hesitation, that we were going to accomplish this goal by Dec. 31,” Morgan said. “We were going to put 450 miles of steel and concrete along with all the essential attributes of the wall system Dec. 31. We were challenged, and a lot of people didn’t think we’re going to be able to do it. … That is a remarkable achievement.”
The construction represents a partial fulfillment of Trump’s campaign promises. Trump vowed as a candidate to put up 1,000 miles of wall on the nearly 2,000-mile border, which stretches from the Pacific Coast in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. He also said he would get it done for $4 billion. To date, 738 miles of border wall has been funded for $15 billion. Four hundred and fifty miles of the 738 have been completed.
It's all new wall. pic.twitter.com/HwYi5AxVPf
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) January 5, 2021
The fate of the to-be-completed parts of the wall that construction has been authorized for is uncertain under a Biden administration, as Biden already has said that he would halt construction.
The number of illegals apprehended at the border (a proxy for estimating total illegal immigration into the U.S.) has declined by 50% this year, fueled in part by this new wall but primarily a global pandemic that has reduced economic opportunity for prospective illegals.
The true total cost of illegal immigration isn’t known, but a wide array of estimates aren’t pretty:
- One study found illegals impose a $30 billion annual cost in lost tax revenue due to displaying legal workers who would’ve otherwise been taxpayers.
- The Federal for American Immigration Reform estimated it costs $59 billion per year to educate illegals. A separate estimate (this one from 2010) form the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution puts the figure at $44.5 billion.
- Forbes healthcare analyst Chris Conover estimates that roughly 3.9 million illegal (uninsured) immigrants receive healthcare each year, costing $18.5 billion a year in uncompensated care.
Those are just three expenses: displaced tax revenue, education, and healthcare – and yet they top a combined $100 billion per year.
One thing is for sure – illegal immigration is a heck of a lot more expensive than building a border wall.