The US Customs and Border Protection has completed construction of approximately 205 miles of new border walls along the border with Mexico since January 2017—despite the Democratic Party’s determined efforts to block all attempts by President Donald Trump to obtain increased funding for the project.
According to a new press statement by the CBP, “since January 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have received funding to support construction of up to approximately 205 miles of new border barriers through a combination of appropriations and the Treasury Forfeiture Fund (TFF).”
In fiscal year 2017 CBP received $341 million for the construction of approximately 40 miles of new Bollard Wall and gates in priority areas at the San Diego, El Centro, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley Sectors.
To this date, CBP has completed the construction of approximately 99 percent of the 40 miles funded in fiscal year 2017. Additionally, construction of 35 gates to close gaps in current border infrastructure in the Rio Grande Valley sector continues.
CBP also has completed approximately 10 miles of the 80 miles of new border wall of funded by Congress for fiscal year 2018. The $1.375 million assigned for construction will allow CBP will focus its construction efforts in priority areas in the Rio Grande Valley and San Diego, the statement continued.
“Border wall construction planning efforts will continue in fiscal year 2019, as CBP will use $2 billion authorized by Congress to build approximately 85 miles of new border wall focus in the Rio Grande Valley.”
Another statement from the CBP announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver, which will ensure expeditious construction of approximately 3 miles of new border wall system located west of Roma near Fronton in U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector, Rio Grande City area of responsibility, in Starr County, Texas.
The waiver was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 2019. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin construction as early as September 2019. The contract for this project was awarded on May 28, 2019 to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. for the amount of $42,860,000 and includes the construction of 18-30 foot tall steel bollards, in addition to road construction, detection technology and lighting installation.
This project is funded by CBP’s Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) Appropriation. It is not a project undertaken pursuant to President Trump’s the National Emergency Declaration, nor does it draw from any other source of funding, including appropriations available to the Department of Defense (DoD).
* Last Friday, the US Supreme Court lifting a freeze backed by a lower court that had halted plans to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall construction.
The decision, which split the bench along ideological lines, allows the administration to move ahead with plans to use military funds to replace existing fencing in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
The conservative justices on the court ruled in favor of the administration. Liberal justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, while Justice Stephen Breyer issued a split opinion, agreeing in part with both sides.