3.5 years ago, Donald Trump ran with the major campaign promise of “building the wall” to establish a barrier between the US and Mexico borders. Upon writing this, approximately 3.5 years after President Trump's inauguration, and after witnessing many of the failures of his administration, the question remains: how is that wall coming?
Since being elected, the president has insisted on allocating at least $5.7 billion to the wall. While no new wall was laid until only 4 months ago, funds have been reallocated from the department of defense ($2.5 b) and the military ($3.6 b), with an additional $3.8 billion coming from the Pentagon's anti-drug programs, totaling a budget of $8.9 billion.
Of that, the most generous perspective on the wall states that 93 miles of the wall has been completed. An additional 48 miles has been partially completed, for a grand total of 141 miles.
The total cost: $2.23 billion ($1.58 billion for the fully completed sections and $650 million for the partially complete sections). For perspective, the proposed border wall is 1300 miles long.
That is with 11.8% of the wall completed. Of this, 7.3% or 90 miles, were part of pre-existing structures that were merely replaced or reinforced. 4.5% of the length of the wall was built for more than 25% of the budget of the entire wall.
Looking only at the completed sections of the wall - which is arguably more realistic since should the Trump presidency come to an end the wall program will likely as well - the numbers are far more damning. $1.58 billion has been spent on 93 miles of a completed wall. Yet again, according to the US Customs and Border Patrol, "at least 90 miles of that wall replaced pre-existing structures". If that measure is correct, in over 3 years, $1.58 billion was spent on 3 miles of a new wall which is intended to be 1300 miles long. That is 0.02% of the border wall, for 17.8% of the allocated budget, which is already $3.2 billion more than the requested budget.
3 years, $1.58 billion down, 3 miles of wall.
Oh, and some of it fell over in California.