This morning, Trump took to Twitter to gleefully promote the “start of our Southern Border WALL!” in California.
Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL! pic.twitter.com/pmCNoxxlkH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Of course, there’s a glaring issue. The “wall” to which Trump refers is actually a local infrastructure improvement project in Calexico, California that was identified as a priority in 2009. The project replaces two miles of fencing constructed in the late 1990s.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already hedged against Trump’s impending exploitation of the fencing project to promote his unpopular border wall.
“We just wanted to get out in front of it and let everybody know that this is a local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time,” said David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector.
This week has been especially fraught for the Trump administration’s long sought after wall. The Sierra Club and two other groups, as well as the state of the California, have filed suit to prohibit them from avoiding environmental laws to expedite construction of the structure on the southern border.
“We remain unwavering in our belief that the Trump administration is ignoring laws it doesn’t like in order to resuscitate a campaign talking point of building a wall on our southern border,” Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, said in a statement. “We will evaluate all of our options and are prepared to do what is necessary to protect our people, our values, and our economy from federal overreach.”
It should come as no surprise that Trump will go to any means possible to convey the impression that his wildly unpopular border wall is moving forward. In reality, however, the closest he’s gotten is piggybacking off of a project that has been in the works for nearly a decade.