KERIK: Trump Has Funded More Than Half Of The 700-Mile Wall We Need, And The Critics Can’t Stop Him
So much for Nancy Pelosi’s vow that Democrats would never let President Trump build his “immoral” wall.
The Democratic speaker of the House was adamant that “we’re not doing a wall” in January, when she thought that her new House majority would be able to easily stymie the President’s efforts to secure the border, but it turns out that she was wrong in just about every way possible.
As the Daily Caller reported Thursday, President Trump’s experts have directed enough funds since he took office to build more than half of the 722 miles of wall we need to protect the porous border with Mexico. About 111 miles are either currently under construction or have already been built.
Much of the funding is tied to the president’s recent executive actions to free up more than $6 billion for wall construction, but work was proceeding on the border barrier even before the Democrats capitulated on Pelosi’s hardline position by agreeing to appropriate $1.375 billion for wall construction as part of a deal to end the partial government shutdown.
In fiscal year 2017, Congress allocated $341 million for 40 miles of border wall, 37 of which are complete or in progress. The following year, lawmakers appropriated another $1.375 billion for 82 miles of new or replacement barriers, of which 74 miles are already at various stages of completion.
That represented a good start, but President Trump told the nation in no uncertain terms that more funding would be needed in order to address the worsening crisis on our southern border. When the Democrats refused to provide the necessary money for border security, the President found it himself by using his statutory authority to reallocate previously-appropriated funds. His emergency action came just in the nick of time — ahead of a staggering surge in illegal immigration.
We’re now on pace for the worst year on the border in more than a decade, and the 76,000 illegal border crossings in February was the highest number for a single month in over a decade. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol expects to make at least 900,000 apprehensions by the end of 2019, which experts warn could stress our border security capabilities to the “breaking point.”
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has even informed Congress that “these increases will overwhelm the system entirely,” stating unequivocally that “This is not a manufactured crisis. This is truly an emergency.”
Without immediate action, this crisis is only going to get worse. Thankfully, President Trump reached his own “breaking point” with Congress weeks ago, and is taking the necessary steps to secure the border using his national emergency powers.
The wall is going to be built, and in fact, we’ve been building the wall at a steady pace ever since Donald Trump took office. No amount of histrionics from Nancy Pelosi can change that.
Bernard B. Kerik (@BernardKerik) oversaw the New York City Department of Correction from 1995-2000 as its first deputy and commissioner. He served as NYPD commissioner from 2000-2001, including during its response to the 9/11 attack. He is the founder of the Kerik Group, which provides clients with homeland security, police and correctional training, criminal justice and prison-reform strategies.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.