It would seem the media outlets are at it again with their “selective” reporting tactics.
Stories continue to be reported claiming that absolutely “zero” of the border wall promised by President Trump between the US and Mexico has been built.
This is another case it would appear that when one outlet makes what some are proving false claims, other media outlets will just pile on like a barrel of monkeys.
The article that started it all over on Daily Mail:
The Trump administration has not built any walls to protect previously unbarricaded sections of America’s southern border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed exclusively to DailyMail.com on Thursday.
President Donald Trump has boasted in the past that ‘[w]e have already built large new sections’ during his time in the White House.
Border barriers erected between the U.S. and Mexico since Inauguration Day 2017 have consisted of supplements to existing walls and replacements for outmoded or decreipt barriers.
But ‘[t]he first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April,’ CBP spokesman Roger Maier said in an email. He identified Hidalgo County as the construction project’s location, a border zone along a meandering 50-mile stretch of the Rio Grande.
President Trump visited McAllen on January 11, boasting of wall renovations that he framed as ‘new’ construction. ‘I will say, we’ve done a lot of renovation. And we have a lot of new wall going up where we took down wall because it was in such bad shape, and we put new wall up,’ he said.
But an article over at Medium points out these appear to be semantic differences designed only to take credit away from what President Trump has been doing:
They claim that the first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists is not scheduled to begin until April.
Trump has claimed in the past that ‘[w]e have already built large new sections’ of the border wall.
It would appear that unnecessary distinctions are being made in an attempt to make it seem that Trump has not been truthful to the American public.
A senior Trump administration official said that “building walls where there were gaps or only small or ineffective non-wall barriers before is, by definition, building new walls.”
The same CBP official who spoke to The Daily Mail released a statement after the article came out in which he stated:
“CBP has built and continues to build new border wall along the Southwest border. To date, CBP has built 38 miles of new border wall system in San Diego and Calexico, California, Santa Teresa, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.”
Frankly, most Americans don’t care whether the wall is being replaced, newly built or a discussion is occurring about the next project needed to secure the southern border.
And don’t forget the videos of construction underway:
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) February 19, 2019
MSN even admitted that “border barriers” were being built:
It’s the border barrier President Donald Trump promised in his campaign. It’s the symbol of the ideas that many who oppose Trump have vowed to block.
Is the border wall really being built?
The answer is entirely a matter of interpretation.
What’s Trump’s border wall progress?
Border barriers have been built under the Trump administration.
So far, those barriers are mostly replacements of other, existing fencing that was already in place — not new stretches of wall on any part of the border that was previously open.
And none of the new barriers use the designs that emerged from the construction of prototype “walls” in San Diego.
Funding for the barriers so far is limited to older designs, essentially the same fences as were built under previous administrations.
And all of these projects amount to a few miles of border barrier in total. A USA TODAY NETWORK project in 2017 examined the entire 2,000-mile border and showed most of it has no fence and no wall.
Helicopter footage of the full border shows most of it is open, and most of the barriers in Texas are built only in short spurts. At the same time, much of the unfenced border is remote, wild and distant from roads or construction supplies.
Apprehensions of border-crossers rose in the last year, but the numbers remain near the lowest levels in decades.
Is Trump’s border wall the same as the border fence?
On the campaign trail, Trump often spoke of a “great wall,” and usually invoked images of concrete. Even after he took office, he was clear that the border wall would be new and different from other fences, saying “We’re going to have a wall that works. We’re not going to have a wall like they have now, which is either nonexistent or a joke.”
Since then, administration officials have made other statements. In April, Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen seemingly contradicted Trump’s earlier statements about the wall, saying that new fences would be considered walls, even if those fences are being built to replace existing fences.
New border barriers are often described as “bollard walls,” meaning the vertical steel bollards recognizable from much of the previous fence construction. And border officials have indeed announced these as new “walls.”
Where is Trump’s border wall being built?
If you consider the barrier projects “border walls,” here are some of the locations:
In April, the Border Patrol began construction of a “border wall” near El Paso at Santa Teresa, N.M. During a press conference, Aaron Hull, Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol in El Paso sector, mostly referred to the project as the wall, sometimes calling it “fence” but quickly correcting himself. Hull said the metal barrier was the same design as others from the 2006 Secure Fence Act. The new barrier replaced existing metal posts which were designed only to block vehicles.
In September, the Border Patrol announced construction of “a new 4-mile section of bollard wall” in the historic Chihuahuita neighborhood in El Paso. The new bollards replaced existing chain-link fencing.
In October, border officials marked the completion of 2 miles of barriers near Calexico, Calif. Crews had replaced older metal fencing with new, 30-foot steel bollards, a project identified as a priority and funded under President Barack Obama.
In November, Customs and Border Protection officials announced a contract for about 6 miles of “wall system” in the Rio Grande Valley. The project is supposed to include a concrete levee wall “to the height of the existing levee” with 18-foot bollards on top. That barrier is not being built yet; it’s set to be started in February.
None of those barriers look like the wall prototypes built near San Diego, which Trump visited and praised earlier this year.
6/8/2018 @JakeTapper – “40 miles or border where there wasn’t any barrier”
2/5/19 – @cnn tweets out pic of bulldozer working on new border wall in Rio Grande.
— Joe Borelli (@JoeBorelliNYC) February 16, 2019
Call them whatever you want: “border barriers” or a wall….it’s getting built!
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
Lets just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019
Monday, the California Border Patrol released a video on Monday showing that the agency had built walling in the El Centro Sector in California:
And check out all these additional videos showing construction progress: