Trump Pivots to ‘Finish the Wall,’ Yet No New Border Barriers Have Been Built During His Presidency

For President Trump, chants and signs saying “Build the wall” are so 2016 — “Finish the wall” is his new rallying cry. Yet two years into his term, not one new mile of a barrier has been erected along the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

At a rally in El Paso on Monday night, Trump went so far as to declare that nearby, just that day, “the big beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande” had gotten underway. In fact, some brush was cleared in anticipation of construction, according to a check with the Homeland Security Department.

If and when a 25-mile physical barrier ultimately is built there, it will represent the first new miles of border barriers since Trump took office. That is the reality that the president — a businessman and self-proclaimed construction expert elected in part on his promise to build a massive border wall — is increasingly attempting to obscure as he looks to reelection.

Even as the president has failed to get the funding he wants for a wall, despite two years with a Republican-controlled Congress, he has shifted to declaring victory and claiming credit for the 654 miles of fencing constructed under his predecessors — the same former presidents he often criticizes for their border policies, as he did Tuesday by derisively referring to “our past geniuses.”

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