90 Miles From Tyranny : Homeland Security Officials Tout 100 Miles of New Border Wall

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Homeland Security Officials Tout 100 Miles of New Border Wall

YUMA, Arizona—Top officials in the Department of Homeland Security visited southern Arizona on Friday to commemorate completion of 100 miles of new border wall.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stopped by the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma and delivered a speech in recognition of what he called a milestone: 100 miles of completed border wall since the beginning of the Trump administration. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, and Border Patrol officials joined Wolf.

Wolf looked on as a plaque emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s name was welded onto a section of the wall.

“Today, as a milestone has been reached, a celebration is in order,” Wolf said. “Today I am proud to report that the Trump administration has now constructed 100 miles of new border wall system on the southern border. This is a milestone achievement for the president, the department, and more importantly for our country.”

In plain sight behind the acting homeland security secretary was newly built border wall that stood roughly 30 feet high and included anti-climbing plates. Adjacent to the new wall was the older—and much smaller—anti-vehicle barrier, which stood about waist-high. Much of the new border wall has replaced these small walls or dilapidated barriers.

Some critics have argued that the Trump administration hasn’t actually built much new wall, but is simply replacing old wall. The secretary pushed back against this narrative.

“One thing I want to emphasize: Every inch of the 100 miles that we have constructed is new border wall system. It’s not so-called ‘replacement’ wall as some of our critics claim,” Wolf said.

“It is new wall,” he said, arguing that one wouldn’t call completion of a five-bedroom house in place of a rundown shack a “replacement” house—one would call it a “new” house.

When asked what they need to make their jobs easier, Border Patrol officials everywhere tell him that they need a border wall, Wolf said.

The location of Yuma for the commemorative event held heavy symbolic value. The Republican mayor of the border town declared a state of emergency in April 2019 as local services were unable to cope with the sheer volume of illegal...

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