Things That Matter

New Border Wall Is Being Constructed In California But It Is Not The Same Border Wall Trump Promised His Voters

Images of a new border being constructed on the southern border in California are circulating. The images show tall border barriers being constructed to replace an existing border barrier on California’s southern border.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has shared photos of construction along the Calexico border in San Diego.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

According to a press release by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), construction on the secondary wall along the border in California began in February 2019. The 30-foot steel barrier is replacing an older secondary barrier just north of the San Diego barrier.

President Trump promised his voters that he would be building a border wall on the southern border, yet, this specific length of the wall is not part of his promise.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

This is one of those examples where words matter. The current construction happening in California is not part of Trump’s promise for a new border wall. What is happening is the construction to replace 50 miles worth of old border barriers. Right-leaning publication the Washington Examiner lamented the lack of new border walls 30 months into his presidency.

Trump continues to make the border wall a central part of his 2020 reelection campaign despite the lack of new wall being constructed.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

CBP states in their press release that they continue “to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 – also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – and continues to take steps to expeditiously  plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border.” While that sounds good to advocates for the border wall, the wall that has been built to date is not part of Trump’s promise in Executive Order 13767.

Trump’s executive order on the border wall is clear that wall he is pushing is a new wall.

Section 2 (a) states that the order wants to “secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism.”

Officials within the Trump administration blame Democratic lawmakers for blocking the construction of the wall.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

However, for the first two years of his presidency, Republicans had a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. During those two years, however, there was not enough of a crisis along the southern border for them to push through legislation to allocate funds to the border wall. The crisis at the border became one that Trump had to speak about and push for legislation after Democrats won the majority in the House of Representatives.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Trump could use military funds to build his border wall and it seems like that might be the only way he can start delivering on a promise he made during the 2016 election.

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

As of now, the construction of a new border wall where there was never a barrier has not happened. Trump can say the wall is being built but the fact remains that the border wall is not being built.

READ: The Supreme Court Just Let Trump’s Border Wall Move Forward Using Billions In Military Funds To Pay For It

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The First Presidential Debate Went Off The Rails Fast And The Internet Had Fun With It

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The First Presidential Debate Went Off The Rails Fast And The Internet Had Fun With It

Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Image

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden had their first presidential debate and things were wild. President Trump spent most of the debate talking over Biden while moderator Chris Wallace did everything in his power to rein in the president. Of course, Americans on social media had a lot to say.

The first presidential debate was a far cry from the presidential debates of the past.

Political pundits have spent the past 24 hours discussing how the presidential debate on Sept. 29 veered far from past norms. The two campaigns had agreed to terms before the debate, including two minutes to respond to question uninterrupted. However, as the moderator, Chris Wallace, eventually said to the nominees, President Trump made quick work of ignoring that rule.

“The country would be better served if we allowed both people to speak with fewer interruptions,” Wallace said to President Trump. “I’m appealing to you, sir, to do it.”

“And him, too?” President Trump retorted.

“Well, frankly, you’ve been doing more interrupting,” Wallace corrected the president.

Debate viewers quickly took to social media to comment on the president’s behavior.

President Trump attempted to bulldoze over Biden as he answered questions asked by the moderator. Rather than playing into the argument, Biden either continued his answer while the president interrupted or simply fell silent. There were times when Biden had to request that his time be restored because of the president’s lack of control.

The barrage of questions was highlighted by some as a trigger for people who stutter. Biden has been public about his work as a child to overcome stuttering. A touching video of Biden speaking with a child who stutters went viral recently showing the Democratic nominee’s compassion in a new way.

A lot of people couldn’t help but compare President Trump to a character in Among Us.

Among Us is a space-themed multiplayer online game that has become really popular during the Covid-19 era. It might be a nerdy inside joke considering that the creators of Among Us have attempted to make the game available on consoles but encountered an issue with player communications.

There is already merch (real and not) of Biden’s most memorable line of the night.

During a rant by the president, Biden turned to him and asked, “Will you shut up, man?” The line immediately made it to social media with Americans wanting the president to let Biden speak when given his chance.

Debate viewers are calling for a mute option to silence the mic if a nominee speaks too long.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate,” reads a statement by the Commission on Presidential Debates. “Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.  The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.  The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.”

The American people have made their voices heard on social media.

They clearly want better controlled debates. People want to hear the ideas of both nominees, not just one. The election is very consequential for so many different communities. Trump came out the loser of the night as several surveys and polls showed undecided and lean Biden voters into stronger and more likely Biden voters. For some respondents, the most bothersome part was Trump interrupting Biden, especially during Biden’s moment honoring his son, Beau Biden. Beau served in the military and died of a brain tumor in 2015. Joe was responding to reports of President Trump calling military members “losers” and “suckers.”

READ: Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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As Trump Rushes To Build More Border Wall Before The Election, Here’s A Timeline Of His Border Wall Failures

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As Trump Rushes To Build More Border Wall Before The Election, Here’s A Timeline Of His Border Wall Failures

Saul Loeb / Getty Images

With just 34 days to go until the election, Trump is in an all out mission to build as much border wall as he can. Throughout his 2016 campaign and his time in the White House, he has made his vanity project a key component in his identity as president.

He’s used it to ratchet up xenophobia and to implement his draconian immigration policies while also using it to build support among his die hard MAGA-loving supporters. But there’s just one problem: Trump has completely failed in his mission to deliver a border wall to his supporters.

Since the 2016 election, according to the LA Times, the Trump Administration has only built 5 new miles of border wall – yes, just five miles of border wall along a 1,954 mile long border.

However, the larger point is that we are still wasting billions of dollars to built an apartheid wall twice as tall as the Berlin Wall. It’s a complete waste of money and it’s wreaking havoc on our environment, politics, and security.

Trump is racing to complete more border wall in time for the November election.

The election is just over a month away and the Trump administration is quickly realizing that one of Trump’s biggest promises to his supporters, remains unfulfilled. This has led to an all out push to construct additional border wall, with construction crews now adding nearly two miles per day. It is an unprecedented pace toward meeting one of Trump’s signature 2016 campaign promises.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) say that the rate of construction has nearly doubled since the beginning of the year, accelerated by the government’s ability to cut through national forests, wildlife preserves and other public lands already under federal control.

The rapid pace of construction has had the biggest impact in Arizona. There, crews have literally blasted through protected areas and federal lands — areas where the administration is able to bypass environmental laws, archaeological reviews and other safeguards.

In fact, crews have been using dynamite to level the steep sides of Guadalupe Canyon, a rugged span where the cost of the barrier exceeds $41 million per mile. Across the state at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, border agents have forcefully broken up protests by members of the O’odham Nation attempting to block the bulldozers near ancestral burial sites and a fragile desert oasis.

Officials hope to hold a ceremony celebrating 400-miles of new border wall before the election.

Trump is hoping to celebrate the 400-mile mark with a major celebration touting his great success on the border wall. But as earlier figures show, it’s all a sham. Most of the border wall that’s being built is not new.

However, Mark Morgan, the acting CBP commissioner, told reporters that the president has proved his doubters and critics wrong.

“Even as the nonbelievers, the folks who have been out there for a very long time who said we were never going to get this done, what I refer to as the judicial activism of lower courts that have tried to stop our construction of the wall, the false narratives and, quite frankly, the lies out there about the effectiveness and need of the wall — despite all that — this president has remained steadfast in his commitment, his commitment to the American people and to the men and women of CBP,” said Morgan, erroneously claiming the government was building 10 miles per day.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden says he will shut down border wall construction if elected president.

As with so much else, the future of the wall project is contingent on the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Biden has been very open about his plan to immediately end construction of the border wall if elected. This could be a big shock to the giant industry that has sprouted up to build the wall. Crews have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on at least five locations on the border, according to officials overseeing the project who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Washington Post.

“There will not be another foot of wall construction in my administration,” Biden said in August during an interview with reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Biden said he favors “high tech” systems that rely on surveillance technology and would direct resources to the legal border crossings where most illegal narcotics are seized.

Despite the lack of new construction, CBP officials are already calling the wall a success.

Officials say that the increase in apprehensions of migrants caught hiding in tractor trailers or coming ashore on California beaches is proof that the border wall is working. But that just simply isn’t the case when you’ve only built 5-miles of border wall.

Meanwhile, even though it’s patently false, Trump continues to deceive the public with claims that Mexico is footing the bill. Mexico is not paying for the wall.

The president has obtained $15 billion in federal funds for the project, but just one-third of that money has been authorized by Congress. The rest, nearly $10 billion, has been diverted from the U.S. military budget, giving Trump enough to build 738 miles of new barriers, or enough to cover more than a third of the 2,000-mile boundary with Mexico.

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