Construction begins on border wall funded by $2.8 billion allowed by SCOTUS decision last month

President Trump has received a lot of derision for supposedly not building a single mile of new border barrier, despite his campaign promises. But the real story is a bit more complicated, and as of last Friday, crews began construction on 247 miles of 30-foot-high wall in Arizona and New Mexico. Last month, the Supreme Court decided that use of parts of the military budget to protect our sovereignty was oaky, and this added $2.8 billion to the $1.7 billion that Congress appropriated for wall construction. That permitted President Trump to start to fulfill his promises.

Most of the construction will be replacement of existing fence, but 17 miles of it will be brand new border barrier. The Associated Press has a video (embedded below) featuring shots of various points of the project, but this cropped image below expresses the new fencing part of the project:

YouTube screen grab (cropped)

Here is the AP's video:

The AP gives space to wall opponents of both the illegal immigration advocates and the ecology variety. But it doesn’t concern itself with the reasons why most of the construction is replacing existing wall, so I will add some speculation as to why so much initial effort is replacing wall.

  1. The first walls, old and easy to breach, were built in the highest traffic areas, for the most part.
  2. There are fewer permits necessary to replace wall than to build new wall.
  3. There is less need for land acquisition, sometimes requiring court action, to replace existing wall. While new wall may require land purchases, which can eat up time.

The AP tells us that completion of the 247 miles of fence will be complete in 45 days.

Hat tip: Roger Luchs