Written by Nicholas Vetrisek
Last week, officials from the Trump administration commemorated the 100th mile of new border wall since the president took office. This is in addition to the many more miles of old and ineffective border fence that have been upgraded, but are not counted as “new.”
In a response to critics that claim no new wall has been built, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf has said that he is confident that the administration will be able to build between 400 and 450 miles by the end of the year.
“The wall system you see behind me is an undeniable impediment to smugglers, traffickers and other criminals who have exploited our lack of effective border infrastructure to smuggle drugs, illicit good, and engage in human trafficking,” Wolf said.
The area where he spoke, Yuma, Arizona, has seen massive benefits from the wall and is perhaps the best example of Trump’s wall in action. Yuma previously had very high rates of illegal entry, primarily by families, but has had family crossings drop by an astonishing 97 percent since May. While many will attribute this to the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their claims are processed, a large part of this stunning drop in cases is due to the fact that something is now being done about weak border protection in the area.
Yuma is not alone in seeing a massive drop in illegal immigrant crossings since wall construction began. The White House reports that illegal crossings in Tucson have decreased 24 percent and San Diego crossings are down 27 percent.
Thus far, the wall has been very successful and the administration seems to be making decent progress, both on retrofitting old border fencing and building new sections. If Trump can get the 400 miles of new wall built this year, it’ll surely be a major boon to his campaign in the upcoming election.