Border Wall Update
Bottom Line: 1.7 miles. What’s that number? The average amount of new “wall” being built along the southern border per month. That’s based on the latest update from the DHS/CPB. Progress? Yes? Any chance of “the wall” being completed anytime soon at this rate? No. Here’s the latest scorecard:
- The US currently has 654 miles of physical barriers on the southern border
- Work is ongoing to replace 280 miles of the existing border wall/fencing.
- 34% of the Southern border has a barrier
What hasn’t been happening is a new expansion of the border wall. The latest figures from the feds show that almost all of the work has been on replacing old/failing border barriers, which we knew was the case. It appears 99% of the replacement projects are complete. As the replacement work wraps up and we advance deeper into the 2020 cycle, it’s likely increased focus will be applied to “wall” progress. To achieve complete success there are approximately 1,200 miles of additional barriers needed. At the existing pace of 1.7 new miles per month it’d take about 59 years to complete.
The question becomes what the outlook for new wall expansion will be as the replacement projects near completion. To date, progress has been slow for expansion due to a series of legal and environmental challenges. September has been a key timeline throughout this year. It’s the timeline when money approved for wall expansion earlier this year likely runs out in conjunction with the completion of renovations of the existing border wall. This sets up a budget battle, with a legal battle with a looming Presidential Election cycle. To be continued.