Trump officials to announce completion of 100 miles of border wall
Trump administration officials will announce Friday that they have completed construction on 100 miles of new barriers along the southern border with Mexico.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf will announce the completed construction in Yuma, Ariz., The Washington Post reported. He will be joined by senior border officials and Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
The announcement will come just days after a federal appeals court in New Orleans lifted an injunction from a lower court that had blocked the Trump administration from using military funds to help build the border wall.
The Wednesday decision will allow the White House to access $3.6 billion for the wall, a key campaign promise from the president’s 2016 election and a centerpiece of his 2020 campaign.
A district court judge ruled last month that the administration could not spend money allocated by lawmakers for a different purpose. But the appeals court found that the money, approximately one-third of the $11 billion allotted so far for the wall, according to the Post, could be used while legal challenges continue to make their way through federal courts.
Trump celebrated the decision in a tweet, sharing “Breaking News: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court decision & gave us the go ahead to build one of the largest sections of the desperately needed Southern Border Wall, Four Billion Dollars. Entire Wall is under construction or getting ready to start!”
Breaking News: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed a lower court decision & gave us the go ahead to build one of the largest sections of the desperately needed Southern Border Wall, Four Billion Dollars. Entire Wall is under construction or getting ready to start!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2020
Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told reporters last month that the agency’s goal was to complete 450 miles by the end of 2020, but added that “It’s hard right now to be able to say whether we’re still going to be able to meet that goal, but I’m confident that we’re going to be close,” the Post reported.
Morgan also said last month that 93 miles of wall had been built during the Trump administration, Reuters reported. However, at least 90 miles of that replaced structures that were already standing.
The 2020 budget passed by Congress last month kept funding for border barrier construction stagnant from 2019 at $1.4 billion, compared to the $5 billion the White House initially sought.