This is how much of the border wall has been built so far.



And even if you get all the money you want from Congress this year, the wall will not be nearly finished.

Contractors have replaced miles of crumbling fences with more modern alternatives, but they have not built barriers anywhere they did not yet exist.

That could change soon. Construction is scheduled to begin in February on a project that will bring 14 miles of a new border wall to the Rio Grande Valley.

Meanwhile, Trump and Congress are stuck in a deadlock due to funding for the construction of more walls. Authorities say the $ 5.7 billion the administration is requesting would cover the cost of more than 200 miles of new and replacement wall.

But that would leave most of the border without a wall.

Here is a look at what is already on the border, what construction is planned and what the Trump administration wants to build:

Artificial barriers cover only about one third of the border.

The border between the United States and Mexico is extended by 1,954 miles. Currently, physical barriers cover. 654 of those miles, according to the United States Customs and Border Protection.

What is known as fencing of vehicles it covers 280 miles. This is a fence that is low to the ground. I would stop a car, but people can easily step on it.

What is known as pedestrian fences it covers some 374 miles. It is taller and is designed to prevent people from crossing on foot.

Some border fences are made of helicopter landing platforms.

There are several designs of pedestrian fences at different points along the border.

Some areas contain layers of barriers, known as primary, secondary, and sometimes tertiary fences. Currently, about 37 miles of the border have secondary pedestrian barriers, according to CBP.

Much of the older fences are made with helicopter armrests from the Vietnam War era. The newer fences usually consist of steel bollards from 18 to 30 feet in height.

A construction team works to replace an old section of the US border fence. UU And Mexico on January 11, 2019, as seen from Tijuana, Mexico.

Trump now says his big & beautiful wall & # 39; It can be made of steel.

Yes, the president talked a lot about the construction of a concrete wall in the election campaign. But officials have said for a time that concrete is not the only option. When requesting bids for prototype designs in March 2017, the focus was on making the wall "physically imposing."
In recent weeks, the president has expressed greater interest in a barrier made of steel strips. It is not clear exactly what that means; Some have pointed out that it looks a lot like the steel fence that is already installed at some points along the border, which experts have said would be the best option.

The wall prototypes have gone down the road.

As you recall, the construction companies built eight prototypes of walls at the border, four designed to be concrete walls of 30 feet, four of other materials, which were then subjected to testing.
Some reports have suggested that they did not fare so well in the tests conducted by rape experts, although the results have not been made public.
Customs and Border Protection officials have eluded questions about exactly what the evidence revealed. But they have said they were useful in informing plans for new and replacement fences that are currently being installed.

The idea of ​​border barriers did not begin with Trump.

It is true that Trump has placed the idea of ​​a front and center of the border wall from the first time he set foot on the electoral campaign, but the idea of ​​building barriers along the US-Mexico border took root long before to badume the position.

The construction of the federally funded border fence as we know it began with a 14-mile stretch near San Diego. Construction began during George H.W. The Bush presidency and continued in the first term of Bill Clinton. The Immigration Reform and Illegal Immigration Reform Act, which Clinton enacted into law in 1996, authorized the fortification of that fence.
And the Safe Fences Law, pbaded during the administration of President George W. Bush, authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of additional fences. It should be noted that this measure also happened with the support of then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Since 2007, CBP says it has spent about $ 2.3 billion on fences and related infrastructure on the US border. UU And Mexico.

Contractors are already working on hundreds of construction miles.

Several contracts have been awarded since Trump took office, funded by congressional appropriations for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

Among them: Almost $ 300 million to build 40 miles of replacement structures in multiple locations. These consist of pedestrian walls and vehicle barriers. As of December 21, 35 of those 40 miles had been completed, according to Andrew Meehan, CBP's badistant commissioner for public affairs.

Snapshots of the border between the United States and Mexico.

Last year, allocations provided $ 1.375 billion in funds to build 82 miles of new and replacement barriers at multiple locations across the border, Meehan said. Of that funding, $ 700 million has gone to contracts for the construction of new and replacement wall systems, he said, and another $ 300 million "are ready to be awarded as soon as the government reopens." The rest of the money, Meehan said, "supports the management of CBP projects to include real estate, environmental, legal and program management support and will be obligated for the duration of the projects."

Soon we will see a wall built in a new section of the border.

Yes, that is the plan. Construction is expected to begin in February on 14 new miles in the Rio Grande Valley.

The project, called a dike wall system, includes the construction of a reinforced concrete dike wall, 18-foot-high steel bollards installed on top of the concrete wall, and the removal of vegetation throughout an area. of compliance of 150 feet. The price: $ 312 million.

The administration wants $ 5.7 billion to pay for 234 miles of construction.

Authorities say the construction that begins in February is only part of the image. The 2018 fiscal year funds, they say, also cover the cost of building 70 more miles of barriers, of which 57 miles are replacement fences.

And if the Trump government's proposal of $ 5.7 billion more for a border fence is approved, officials say they will be able to build 234 miles of new and replacement barriers, about 100 miles of which will cover parts of the border that do not. made. have a barrier before

But since a partial closure of the government on the wall is already in its fifth week, if that work will be carried out, and exactly what will happen next, it's a guess.

Maegan Vázquez of CNN contributed to this report.


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