Trump brags about visiting the first part of his ‘new border wall’ — but it was actually already there

Renovations on the wall were first conceived during the Obama administration, and funded during Mr Trump's presidency

Clark Mindock
New York
Friday 05 April 2019 19:01 BST
(AFP/Getty Images)

When Donald Trump lands in California to view what is being touted as the “first section” of his border wall to be completed, he may be a bit let down if he gets much of a history lesson.

That’s because the barrier near the city of Calexico he is visiting is not new at all, even if a plaque there says it is.

In fact, the recently completed renovations that have inspired the president’s visit were not thought up during this administration, either — the plans were made back during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The fencing Mr Trump will encounter towers 30-feet, and replaces a stretch of border barriers made out of Vietnam-era landing mats, which were essentially steel panels.

Plans for replacing the two miles of landing mats were first developed years ago during Mr Obama’s administration, but the Trump administration was first to assign funding for the project.

The president, during public appearances and in tweets that reach millions of people, has hailed the project as the beginning of the wall that he has shut the government down over and made a central part of his political identity.

In spite of those claims, the City of Calexico has had a barrier in place for decades, city manager David Dale told local media KCRW.

“At least 45 years there’s been a fence there. Now they’ve obviously replaced the fence, it’s now higher and so now you can see through it, but the fence has been there for many, many years,” he said.

Mr Trump is scheduled to make a visit at a fundraiser in Los Angeles following his trip to Calexico.

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