Wall or fence? First completed section of Trump’s border wall unveiled in California (PHOTOS)
The two-and-a-half-mile-long, 30-foot-tall barrier was built over eight months and unveiled by US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at a ceremony in Calexico, California on Friday. Nielsen pleaded for further government funding to complete the mammoth project, saying that “walls work.” She also refuted the oft-repeated claim that the barrier of steel bollards was actually just a fence.
Earlier this year, Trump unveiled eight border wall prototypes in California, some concrete and some metal structures like this one. “It’s different than a fence in that it also has technology. It’s a full wall system,” she said. “It’s a wall, this is what the president has asked us to do. It’s part of a system.”
Border security is national security. We need funding to continue building @POTUS' wall. We need personnel to secure the border. And we need laws that work for the American people. I refuse to believe that this is too complex for Congress to solve, they must address this crisis. https://t.co/FbDkF6dtyF— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) October 27, 2018
The ceremony celebrated the replacement of shorter, older fencing that was installed in the 1990s. On Friday, a plaque was installed on the ‘wall’ to “commemorate the completion of the first section of President Trump’s border wall,” it read.
“Walls work, it’s not my opinion,” Nielsen said. “It’s not a tagline. It's not a political statement. It’s a fact.”
“Looking at this, I would not attempt to climb it,” she continued. “This is the wall system we are requesting Congress to fund,” she later added.
However, not everyone is convinced by Neilsen’s comments and, once again, whether it is a wall or a fence was the source of furious debate on social media.
DHS Sec Kirstjen Nielsen unveiled 2 new miles of border fencing and declared it the first new section of the Trump's border wall saying it was different than a fence cause it has technology which makes it a wall (It looks like a fence)— 🇺🇸Ellie🇺🇸 (@ellievan65) October 26, 2018
Got that 💩https://t.co/7IhFBITgz7
You are a joke, just like Trump. You acknowledged that this is a stretch of existing border fence being repaired, not a new wall. But then again, the MAGAts swallow whatever lies you spoon feed them.— Ofputin (@maga_is_hate) October 27, 2018
This year’s congressional spending bill allocated $1.6 billion for border security, $38 million of which was set aside for border wall construction. However, it specifically stated that it must be the same fencing used by previous administrations.
The construction funding “shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017... such as the currently deployed steel bollard designs,” reads the bill, which dates back to before Trump had even built his prototypes.
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