There seems to be significant progress concerning the building of wall at the Southern border of the U.S. With U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reporting astronomical numbers in terms of “Total Enforcement Actions,” which includes “inadmissibles, apprehensions, arrests of individuals with criminal convictions and individuals who have been apprehended multiple times crossing the border illegally,” a wall could do nothing other than help the situation at the country’s border with Mexico.
During a Thursday Department of Defense (DoD) press briefing, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman told reporters that the U.S. is building “about a mile a day” of wall at the Southern border.
Hoffman was responding to question about contracting for the wall and a construction timeline. Here’s what Hoffman said, according to a DoD transcript of the press briefing:
I don't have a timeline for you on that. I -- the -- right now, we're -- we're getting the first of those contracts ready to go. As was previously mentioned, we have a property from DOI that needed to be transferred over for -- for a number of those, so we've got to work through that process.
And it's going to take, you know, months to get that, as I mentioned, the money for the 28 -- 284 projects came on -- came over in -- I believe in -- in May and we've just completed that process now. So it's -- it's going to be a few months but our goal is that by the end of next year, we will have completed over 100 -- 450 miles of wall construction all told across the entire federal government.
What you're going to see is there will be a -- a -- kind of a -- it's a -- it's a bubble; it'll take a little while as we do the planning, we buy the property, we do the environmental assessments and all of the other things we -- we -- the assessment we need to do, and then the -- you'll see a rapid increase in the amount.
Right now, we're at a pace of about a mile a day and we'll see that -- that continue to go up, so.
This is good news when taking into account the “Total Enforcement Actions” reported by the CBP, which are accurate as of August 31st.
For Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), which still has about one full month of data to incorporate, CBP has reported 1,082,306 “Total Enforcement Actions.” That number is way up compared to FY17 (526,901) and FY18 (683,178).
While people will still attempt to illegally enter the U.S., instead of trying to enter through one of the country’s more than 300 ports of entry, a wall will most definitely have an downward effect on the numbers going forward.