Border barrier boondoggle. Trump’s promised inexpensive, impregnable wall was anything but.
“I would build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me. And I’ll build them very inexpensively,” Donald Trump said in 2015 as he announced his presidential run. “I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” During the campaign, Trump offered more details. His wall would span the entire length of the border, or nearly 2,000 miles, it would be fashioned with concrete — not unlike the Berlin Wall — and would be “impregnable” and “big and beautiful.”
It didn’t quite work out that way. By the end of Trump’s term, his administration had completed construction of about 450 miles of barrier, none of which was concrete and all of which was demonstrably pregnable, at a cost at least five times that of the existing barriers. Mexico did not pay a dime for it. And the “beautiful” part? That, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.
When Trump first promised to build the wall along the border, he apparently didn’t realize that his predecessors had already constructed hundreds of miles of barriers. It all started in 1996, when President #Bill_Clinton signed the #Illegal_Immigration_Reform_and_Responsibility_Act. Fences were constructed in urban areas, such as #Nogales and #San_Diego, with the intention of driving border crossers into the desert, where they could be more easily apprehended — but also where they were at greater risk of dying of heat-related ailments.
A decade later, President George W. Bush signed the #Secure_Fence_Act of 2006, authorizing the construction of 700 miles of barriers. As a result, 652 miles of pedestrian and vehicle barriers already lined the border, mostly between #El_Paso and San Diego, by the time #Trump was elected. All the evidence, however, suggests that it did very little to stop undocumented migration, in part because at least two-thirds of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. arrived on #visas and then overstayed them.
Besides, no wall is truly impregnable, as Trump himself indicated in a speech on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, when he said: “Let the fate of the Berlin Wall be a lesson to oppressive regimes and rulers everywhere: No Iron Curtain can ever contain the iron will of a people resolved to be free.” Oddly enough, “iron curtain” may be the most accurate description of Trump’s new segments of the wall.
On the day of his inauguration, President Joseph Biden signed an executive order halting further construction. Now, many observers are urging him to go further and dismantle the barrier, as well as try to repair the damage done. Or, as President Ronald Reagan put it in 1987, “Tear down this wall!”
#cartographie #infographie #visualisation #murs #prix #coût #longueur #barrières_frontalières #Trump #promesses #promesses_non_maintenues #statistiques #chiffres #George_Bush #overstayers #Joe_Binden #walls_don't_work