It has been (a long) four years since Trump promised a 2,000-mile “Great Wall” that would be paid for by Mexico and made of reinforced concrete.
He recently visited the Mexican border at Yuma, Arizona and praised himself for the three new miles of steel fence that was actually paid for on the military’s budget.
“This is the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure anywhere in the world,” Trump said of the 212 miles that has been built. “Our border has never been more secure.”
Quick fact check: of those 212 miles only THREE are along parts that previously had no barrier. The rest of the 209 miles has been replacing existing fencing which was started under GWB and continued under Obama.
And even that 18-30 foot tall fencing has shown to be very vulnerable, allowing smugglers and human traffickers to hijack it with battery powered saws.
Republican consultant Stuart Stevens said, “As Ted Cruz said, Donald Trump is a pathological liar.”
From June 2015, Trump founded his campaign on the promise that he would build a “great wall” and end illegal immigration.
At his Trump Tower campaign announcement, he said, “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively… I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
Trump continued to promise over the next year and a half that he would “build the wall” and it wouldn’t cost U.S. taxpayers a dime. Trump claimed that his wall would be 30 feet tall and would go deep underground to prevent tunneling.
He even got into the construction specifics in a December 2015 visit to Manassas, Virginia:
“It’s going to be made of hardened concrete, and it’s going to be made out of rebar. That’s steel… And we’re going to set it in nice, heavy foundations.”
But here’s the kicker, since taking office, Trump has never tried to get Mexico to pay for the wall. He has frequently lied, however, that NAFTA has been revised or that Mexican workers here are funding it.
In fact, for more than a year after entering the White House, Trump did nothing about the wall. He only seemed to have the realization that the wall would not build itself after his beloved Fox News personalities began turning him about it in the spring of 2018.
Trump then considered vetoing a $1.3 trillion spending bill since it didn’t have the $25 billion he had insisted on for the wall. He eventually signed it with $641 million being allotted for the new fencing.
A year later, after a partial government shutdown, the same thing went down but this time, Trump declared a national emergency and took the money from the military construction budget.
Trump, however, used his recent visit to Yuma to blame Democrats for doing “everything they could to block us” while claiming they were all for “open borders.”
Actually in 2017, Democrats offered to support $25 billion for the wall if Trump would support legal status for 800,000 undocumented immigrants who had entered into the country when they were children. He refused.
Stevens, who worked for GWB’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, said, “The Republican Party has fully embraced white grievance politics… The opposite of what we aspired to under President Bush.”
Back during tense immigration talks in the early 2000s, Bush upset many in his party with his now famous quote stating that “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande river.” He won 40% of the Latino vote during his reelection. Neither Trump or any other Republican candidate since has come close to those sort of numbers.