Candidate Donald Trump ran for president on the promise of building a “beautiful world-class wall” on our southern border. Now, his border demands are mired in uncertain legislation, budgeting, and endless debate. Here’s the critical question: Would a wall really matter? Ronald Vitiello, Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner answers that question – with clarity and certainty.
Yes, it will matter – a lot, Vitiello contends.
The acting commissioner met with national media members last week. He declared that the simple truth is that “walls work and the data shows it.” Then he raised his primary concern – lack of funding.
Vitiello called for a “balanced investment in physical infrastructure, access, patrol roads, and technology, as well as personnel to support critical border security missions.”
He added, “A border wall system is a comprehensive solution that provides a wall, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology, and all-weather roads to impede and deny illegal cross-border activity.”
The U.S. government recently allotted $1.6 billion for border wall construction security. On that note, Vitiello said, “We appreciate this down payment, but it does not fully fund our needs in the most critical locations.”
For perspective, Vitiello said “$25 billion would be enough to replace or upgrade existing fencing and add about 300 miles of new pedestrian barrier. Vehicle barriers account for 300 miles of current fencing. The rest is higher and intended to keep out individuals,” reported the Dallas News.
There are currently 654 miles of fencing on the southern border, but that number is not even close to enough to secure the 1,954-mile border. According to Customs and Border Protection, “when fully funded, about 1,000 of the nearly 2,000-mile U.S./Mexican border with have a border wall and other critical infrastructure.”
Vitiello said, “We’re on track to replace 20 miles of a primary vehicle barrier in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Ground breaking is scheduled for early April. But we need much more. Anyone who says otherwise is informed by their politics rather than the facts.”