A wall at the southern border of the United States was a defining campaign platform for former President Donald Trump in both of his runs for the White House. "Build the wall" and "Finish the wall" chants were ubiquitous at his infamous campaign rallies.
In his four years in office, the Trump administration endorsed a government shutdown to secure border wall funding, but only secured 80 miles of brand new wall.
The wall remains a major aspect of pro-Trump Republicans' immigration platforms. In a prospective legislative agenda released last month, Senator Rick Scott of Florida vowed that a Republican Congress would finish the wall and name it after Donald Trump. Just last week during President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, Republican Representatives Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia broke out into a "build the wall" chant as Biden spoke about border security.
Now, a new report from Nick Miroff of the Washington Post details how smugglers sawed through Trump's border wall more than 3 thousand times in just three years, resulting in over $2 million in repairs according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) maintenance reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
According to the report:
"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."
Back in 2019, when reports first emerged that the wall was repeatedly being breached, then-President Donald Trump, "We have a very powerful wall, but no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness.” This is despite claiming just one night earlier, at a Mississippi campaign rally, that "You can cut through steel, but you can’t through the concrete, and then you can’t through the hardened rebar. We got it all.”
Critics of the wall have often warned that it wouldn't be an effective deterrent against illegal border crossings.
Social media users took this latest report as further confirmation of that.
They hadn't forgotten how heavily Trump had hyped the failed wall.