The border wall was a big topic for President Trump during his first election campaign. With many different things going on within the country, the wall is not a big center of attention. After almost four years in office, where does President Trump’s wall stand now?
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, 229 miles of wall have been completed. This includes 331,000 tons of steel and 485,000 tons of concrete. These are not exact numbers, as they are rounded to the nearest whole and also change as the wall expands. The whole border is slightly under 2,000 miles.
While perhaps not the center of attention, there has been some attention towards the wall recently. Just this week, the 2021 Homeland Security spending bill was proposed by Democrats. This bill looks to prevent more money from going to the wall and would also keep the number of border patrol agents the same. Overall, $50.72 billion would go to the Department of Homeland Security. Almost 95% of the money would go towards non-defense discretionary funding.
Within the last fiscal year, the amount of apprehensions at the border have increased with the overall number slightly over 851, 500. To go along with this, about 474,000 of those apprehended were a part of a family. More than 300,000 single adults and 76,000 unaccompanied minors were among those apprehended within the past year as well. Many of those who were apprehended were from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Many of those people were seeking asylum in the United States.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, is also a big topic connected to the border wall. In 2019, arrests by ICE decreased compared to the first couple years under President Trump. The amount of arrests under President Trump are lower than they were during President Obama’s first term. There are a number of reasons for this decline, however, which is a whole other issue.
With everything going on in the country, the border wall is not often talked about. President Trump is trying to continue to build it, but Democrats are trying to stop its construction. Regardless of whether or not funding gets stopped, the wall has a long way to go.
“Border Wall System.” Border Wall System | U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 6 July 2020, www.cbp.gov/border-security/along-us-borders/border-wall-system.
Elis, Niv. “Democrats Offer Security Bill That Prohibits Border Wall Funding.” TheHill, The Hill, 6 July 2020, thehill.com/policy/finance/505973-democrats-offer-security-bill-that-prohibits-border-wall-funding.
Gramlich, John. “How Border Apprehensions, ICE Arrests and Deportations Have Changed under Trump.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 31 May 2020, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/03/02/how-border-apprehensions-ice-arrests-and-deportations-have-changed-under-trump/.
Malone, Katie. “House Homeland Subcommittee Approves FY21 DHS Budget Bill.” MeriTalk, 7 July 2020, www.meritalk.com/articles/house-homeland-subcommittee-approves-fy21-dhs-budget-bill/.“Trump Wall.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 July 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_wall#:~:text=The%20total%20length%20of%20the,1%2C954%20miles%20(3%2C145%20km).