US President Donald Trump is fighting back against charges that
his ‘build the wall’ bluster was all hot air as illegals continue to
stream over the border -which still lacks a wall- and former supporters
accuse him of going soft.
Protesting he’d replaced a “badly broken and dilapidated Barrier on the Southern Border” with “powerful new Walls,” Trump was caught off guard by attacks from the Right after a report claiming he hadn’t built “a single mile of new border fence” despite his central campaign promise of a “big, beautiful wall” hit Fox News and the front page of Drudge Report on Monday.
Just 51 miles of border fencing has been built since Trump took
office 30 months ago, and the steel bollard fencing constructed during
that time has merely replaced existing fencing in “dilapidated designs,”
according to Customs and Border Protection. This hasn’t stopped Trump
from claiming at campaign rallies that his administration has built “a lot of” the wall, or trying to convince his adoring public to swap their chants of “build that wall” for “finish that wall,” but the “mission accomplished” rhetoric has found few takers among Trump’s base.
Disaffected Trump voters took to Twitter to slam the president for surrounding himself with “mass immigration zealots” and “regular Republican Koch Brothers types.” “George Soros loves it when he sees conservative Americans cheering for legal immigration,” another user tweeted, invoking the favorite bogeyman of the Right.
The #Resistance couldn’t miss an opportunity to get in a few kicks while Trump was down, mockingly explaining the difference between “replaced” and “built.” “The only wall you’ve ‘built’ is the one between you and reality,” one user tweeted.
While Border Patrol sources cited in the Examiner blamed Democrats’
obstructionism for holding up funding for wall construction - a fair
point, given that they were willing to shut down the government for a
month rather than cough up the $5 billion Trump had asked for to build
the barrier - or explained that it was
easier to rebuild existing
wall segments than get permits for new construction, Twitter critics
recalled a time not that long ago when Trump had promised Mexico would pay for the wall.
But perhaps the Wall is merely a state of mind. The Trump administration unveiled an expanded “expedited removal”
deportation policy on Monday that allows Immigration and Customs
Enforcement officers to remove illegals arrested anywhere in the US
without an immigration judge’s approval, if they cannot show they’ve
been continuously living in the country for at least two years.
Expedited removal was previously limited only to illegals caught within
100 miles of the border who’d been in the country for less than two
weeks. Illegal immigration is down a third since May, but June still saw
about 100,000 migrants streaming across the border.