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I asked our team to pause for family time this week before kids return to school. The homepage is updated daily. The Digest returns on Monday, August 2. —Mark Alexander

Thomas Gallatin / Jan. 14, 2020

100 Miles of New Border Wall, Illegal Crossings Down

Trump is seeing success in both wall construction and stemming the tide of illegal immigration.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced last Friday that “a milestone” had been reached in President Donald Trump’s promise to secure the nation’s southern border. “I am proud to report that the Trump administration has now constructed 100 miles of new border-wall system on the southern border,” Wolf stated. “This is a milestone achievement for the president, the department, and more importantly for our country.”

Wolf also pushed back against critics who have asserted that it’s not new wall going up but just replacements of old wall. “One thing I want to emphasize: Every inch of the 100 miles that we have constructed is new border-wall system. It’s not so-called ‘replacement’ wall as some of our critics claim.” He justified his declaration with the example that replacing a one-bed shack with a new five-bedroom house would be called a “new” house, not a “replacement” house.

This milestone represents just the first step in the Trump administration’s plan to build an additional 900 miles of border wall. The Washington Post reports, “Pentagon funds would be extracted, for a second year in a row, from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding. According to the plans, the funding would give the government enough money to complete approximately 885 miles of new fencing by spring 2022, far more than the 509 miles the administration has slated for the U.S. border with Mexico.”

Meanwhile, this past December, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol apprehended or turned away 40,620 individuals attempting to illegally enter the country. That total is down a whopping 70% from a high of 144,000 last May and marks the seventh consecutive month of declining illegal crossing. Much of this can be credited to Trump’s multi-faceted approach to addressing the border crisis, which includes deals with Mexico and Central American countries to actively engage and deter illegal immigration in their countries, the new “remain in Mexico” asylum policy, and miles of new border wall.

In spite of all the Left’s opposition, Trump has clearly made significant headway on his signature campaign agenda.

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