tags: Press Releases

Trump’s $15 Billion Border Wall, Centerpiece of GOP Immigration Vision, No Match for $15 Hand Saw

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Washington Post story: Trump’s border wall “sawed through 3,272 times over past three years”

Washington, DC – New reporting in the Washington Post, “Trump’s border wall has been breached more than 3,000 times by smugglers, CBP records show,” highlights what an utter failure, corrupt boondoggle and colossal waste of tax-payer money the Trump wall was and is. Yet this failed project, which started as a rally chant to keep candidate Trump focused on his anti-immigrant radicalism, remains the centerpiece of Republican “thinking” on immigration policy. 

“Mexican smuggling gangs have sawed through new segments of the border wall 3,272 times over the past three years, according to unpublished U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintenance records … The government spent $2.6 million to repair the breaches during the 2019 to 2021 fiscal years

… Smuggling gangs typically cut the barrier with inexpensive power tools widely available at retail hardware stores, including angle grinders and demolition saws. Once the 18-to-30-foot-tall bollards are severed near the ground, their only remaining point of attachment is at the top of the structure, leaving the steel beam dangling in the air. It easily swings open with a push, creating a gap wide enough for people and narcotics to pass through.”

As immigration policy guru Aaron Reichlin-Melnick assessed on Twitter, “Remember how President Trump used to claim he was building the best ever border wall, one that no one could climb over or cut through? From 2019-2021, smugglers sawed through the border wall THREE TIMES A DAY on average. And those are just the breaches we know about.”

Meanwhile, the immigration section of the political blueprint recently released by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), calls to “secure our border, finish building the wall, and name it after President Donald Trump.” 

According to Vanessa Cardenas, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

We have more than 3,000 reminders that the centerpiece of Republicans’ immigration ‘vision’ is a $15 billion border wall that can be cut through with a $15 dollar hand saw. The border wall remains the perfect encapsulation of Trump’s presidency and the Trump-ified Republican Party – broken, corrupt, offensive and ineffective. 

This sets up such a clear contrast. Republicans want to spend billions more on a border wall with more holes than Swiss cheese and name it after Donald Trump. The animating principle behind their simplistic and short sighted ‘policy positions’ is to stir hostility and fear towards immigrants seeking a better life. 

Democrats, on the other hand, support expanded legal channels both for undocumented immigrants here and for immigrants interested in settling here; are working to build a fair, humane and orderly approach to the southern border and towards those seeking refuge here. 

Democrats recognize that refugees are not security threats, that hard working immigrants strengthen our nation and our economy, and that welcoming refugees and immigrants is a critical part of a growing and dynamic nation. A majority of Americans support this vision. Democrats should lean in with confidence.