There are more than 700 miles of border wall currently being built or have already been built, Department of Homeland Security acting secretary Chad Wolf told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
In an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, Wolf broke down the construction of the wall on the southern border into three categories, telling Breitbart that there is 126 miles of wall that is already built, 200 miles of wall that is being built, and 400 miles of wall that is in the pre-construction phase.
“We are building the border wall system on the southwest border,” Wolf said. “So, this is new infrastructure, new capability on the southwest border that our border patrol agents have never had before, and it’s under this administration that we are building new wall systems along the southwest border.”
President Donald Trump’ signature campaign promise, the construction of the wall on the southern border, has taken many years to finally get completed due to red tape and bureaucratic interference. Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, recently said that the wall in El Paso has reduced illegal immigration by 80 percent.
Speaking to Congress on Feb. 27, Morgan said the wall “does deny and impede long enough for Border Patrol agents to actually get there to do the apprehension and interdiction. And it works.”
Previous reports have claimed the actual number of newly constructed miles of wall is 54, while 55 additional miles of the wall have been replacement fence.
However, there have been non-wall construction policies the Trump administration has implemented that have reduced illegal immigration. One such policy is the “Remain in Mexico” agreement. The program is an agreement between the United States and Mexico and three Central American countries that Trump initiated at the end of 2018. The agreement says that would-be illegal immigrants caught at the southern border will be kept in Mexico while their asylum claims are evaluated.
One of the problems with illegal immigration is not necessarily apprehensions. Instead, illegal immigrants caught in the country are given court dates to review asylum claims, known as “Catch and Release.” However, the vast majority do not show up for their court dates.
The Remain in Mexico program reduced the number of illegal crossings by 70 percent from May to September 2019.
“Our migrant protection protocols which a process where individuals come in, they claim asylum, we make them wait in Mexico while their asylum process is ongoing, it could be several months,” Wolf said. “What we saw unfortunately [Friday night] is that we have activist judges that in the ninth circuit decide to put a preliminary injunction, nationwide, on this program. So last night, at a number of our border entries … we had a number of migrants lined up saying, ‘Hey, the courts just ruled. Let me in.’ We had to shut down for a small time all of our ports of entry. Migrant protection protocols are still in place today. That program, along with others, have really been the reason why we were able to deal with the crisis we saw last year in June, July, and even in May we had over 140,000 people cross the border illegally every month. That’s the size of Dayton, Ohio.”
Wolf also criticized sanctuary city policies, which protect illegal immigrants who’ve committed crimes, including violent crimes such as rape and murder, from being deported. One example includes an illegal immigrant who had raped and killed a 92-year old woman in New York.
“Sanctuary policies across the country are very dangerous,” Wolf said. “They’re dangerous not only for the communities that police officers serve. It’s also very dangerous for our law enforcement professionals at the DHS. So, instead of having one or two officers go into a jail setting and pick up an individual and remove that individual… sanctuary cities don’t allow us to do that. We have to go into the community at large with ten, twenty officers going into these communities to try to find that individual. When we find that individual, we also find others. So we are picking up numerous individuals because, again, we’re the law. We are going to enforce the law as it is. Sanctuary polices are very, very dangerous.”