Trump says there is still a national emergency over border security

Clay Curtis
September 21, 2019

Later, while flying to the White House on Air Force One, a reporter asked Trump about what he signed on the wall.

Democrats sharply criticise Trump's policies and do not believe a wall is the answer to the country's immigration challenges. It was a return trip for the Republican president, who traveled there in March 2018 to see border wall prototypes that authorities later destroyed to make way for 14 miles (22.4 kilometers) of steel, concrete-filled bollards now under construction. "That's a lot of bollards", Trump said.

He said he dropped a preference for solid concrete, instead opting for concrete-filled steel bollards that allow agents to see through to Mexico to spot assailants throwing rocks or other projectiles.

"No", Trump replied, then said he'd envisioned 500 new miles of wall, but would consider stopping at 400 and reevaluating.

While the agency has been overseeing the construction of additional sections of the border wall in recent weeks, it is unclear how much more of the barrier has been built. "You can fry an egg on that wall - it's very very hot", the president told reporters in Otay Mesa, in the San Diego sector of the U.S. -Mexico border.

Mr. Trump, who declared an emergency to reshuffle funds for his wall, said he still thinks there is a crisis at the southern border.

President Donald Trump visits the U.S.–Mexico border fence in Otay Mesa Calif. on Sept. 18 2019
President Donald Trump visits the U.S.–Mexico border fence in Otay Mesa Calif. on Sept. 18 2019

"There's a false narrative out there that this wall is the president's vanity wall", he said.

Crews are installing 270 panels a day, each one with eight bollards.

"And we think by the end of next year, which will be some time right after the election, actually-but we think we're going to have close to 500 miles of the wall which will be complete", Trump said on September 4 while talking with reporters in the Oval Office. He said the wall was "a good, strong rust colour" and could be painted later.

He also said raising tariffs on Mexico by 5 per cent for six months would cover the total cost of the wall, but ruled out taking measures in this regard. Arrests on the Mexican border arrests plunged well beyond the usual summer dip in August.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Trump and other administration officials, saying it was a "misuse of his presidential emergency powers to accomplish an ideological political goal".

Trump said USA troops could be taken away from the border as the wall was built, and that if Mexico stopped helping stem the flow of immigrants, imposing tariffs on Mexican imports would be considered.

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