WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — During a flurry of tweets Thursday morning, President Donald Trump repeatedly said a border wall with Mexico is being built.
In the first, the president wrote, "Large sections of WALL have already been built with much more either under construction or ready to go. Renovation of existing WALLS is also a very big part of the plan to finally, after many decades, properly Secure Our Border. The Wall is getting done one way or the other!"
In other tweets, he said:
- "Construction has started and will not stop until it is finished."
- "Wall is already being built, I don’t expect much help!"
- "We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built! "
- "Wall is being built!"
But is a wall actually being built?
The U.S-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long. Currently, more than 650 miles of it have some sort of barrier.
During the campaign, Trump made a border wall a cornerstone of his campaign.
A battle over the $5.7 billion he wants to build a 1,000-mile wall led to a partial government shutdown, which was ended by an agreement to fund federal services for three weeks while negotiations were underway.
He did get $1.6 billion approved previously. He wanted to use the money on miles of new wall, but the funds will mostly go to replacing current barriers.
No new miles of border barriers have been built since Trump took office, The New York Times says. Some existing barriers, however, have been replaced.
Last year, Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen said that new fences would be considered walls, even if those fences are being built to replace existing fences.
One small section of new barrier is coming, however. Construction on six miles of concrete levee wall is scheduled to begin in February, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That will be the first section built in any place a barrier didn't already exist.
In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, authorizing and partially funding 700 miles of fencing along the border.
Parts of the fence, however, are actually in the United States because of a treaty with Mexico that bars construction in the Rio Grande River Valley. That means there are Americans living on the Mexican side of the barrier.
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Southwest Border Security Act, which reassigned $80 million to replace and repair border fencing.
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