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One hundred eleven miles of new or replacement wall is either being built or is in progress on the southern border after Trump’s first two years in office, an administration official tells The Daily Caller.
All told, the administration has secured funding for approximately 445 miles of the total 722 miles desired by the Trump administration, a Caller analysis finds. The analysis holds only if all national emergency and executive action funding is upheld in court challenges.
The administration official stressed that this figure constitutes only 18-foot bollard wall fencing or 32-foot levee wall fencing, which is the barrier that Trump has emphasized as necessary.
The wall accounting begins in Fiscal Year 2017 in which $341 million was obligated for replacement wall in California, New Mexico, and Texas. This money funds construction for 40 miles of new or replacement wall of which 37 miles is completed or in progress.
$1.375 billion was then appropriated in 2018 to build upwards of 82 miles of new or replacement border wall. The administration official noted that approximately 74 miles of new or replacement wall has been completed or is in progress with these dollars. This particular wall was built or replaced in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on the border in South Texas and other locations.
Fiscal Year 2019 saw a major fight between Trump and Congress over border wall funding, with the administration demanding $5.7 billion and Democrats offering up no more than $1.375 billion, not to be used for a wall. Ultimately, after a nearly 35-day partial government shutdown and three weeks of negotiation, Trump accepted $1.375 billion in congressionally appropriated funding and declared a national emergency at the southern border.
Trump’s national emergency declaration and other executive action allowed him to tap $600 million from the Treasury asset forfeiture fund, $2.5 billion of drug enforcement money, and $3.6 billion under his authority as commander in chief.
The national emergency declaration was quickly challenged in court by 16 states, organized by the State of California and filed in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, which appeals to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Officials could not provide a complete estimate of the wall that will be built with the 2019 funds, though they noted that it costs approximately $25 million per mile, putting an estimate at 323 miles of additional border wall. The administration official cautioned that wall funding costs can vary because of terrain but noted that Trump’s actions lack the restrictions of previous appropriations to build wall in much needed areas, like the Rio Grande Valley Sector.