President Donald Trump is scheduled to fly to the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday to highlight the work of his administration on the border wall, White House said Saturday.
Trump is going to fly to the city of Alamo, Texas. It will mark the completion of the 400-mile border wall and its administration’s attempts to overhaul what the White House described as the nation’s broken immigration system, the Associated Press reports.
“President Trump is expected to travel to Alamo, Texas, on Tuesday to mark the completion of more than 400 miles of border wall — a promise made, promise kept — and his Administration’s efforts to reform our broken immigration system,” the official said.
In February 2016, Trump told MSNBC that a wall was needed along 1,000 miles of the border that does not already have natural barriers. After four years, the administration says they have made progress towards achieving most of that. Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters last week that $1.375 billion that was included in the recent omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump out of a total of about $16 billion in funding is enough to complete 800 miles.
“So in addition to the 450 that we’ve already got on the ground, we’ve got funded 350 miles of wall system to go in the ground,” Morgan said. “The overwhelming amount of those miles, that funding, the contracts have already been awarded.”
The visit will likely be the president’s first public appearance since he addressed supporters on Wednesday.
The U.S. Secret Service has reportedly already met with area law enforcement agencies to discuss Trump’s potential visit and as of Saturday, preparations for his arrival were underway at the Valley International Airport, according to KVEO-TV.
After landing in Harlingen, Trump will take a helicopter to McAllen, KVEO reported.
Border Patrol officials said the new fencing, much of which has replaced much smaller vehicle barriers, provides more deterrence against human smugglers and people trying to elude capture.
“We are shutting down illegal border crossing points with the new border wall system,” said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott last year. “For too long, the smugglers had the upper hand in choosing where and when they smuggle their contraband, and that will no longer be the case.”
But, President-elect Joe Biden had vowed to halt border wall construction.