Trump's Border Wall Nearly 90 Percent Complete as CBP Races to Finish Before Biden Takes Office

President Donald Trump made cracking down on immigration a focus of his 2016 campaign for the White House, pledging to build a "big, beautiful wall" to stop illegal crossings along the U.S.'s southern border with Mexico.

With President-elect Joe Biden set to take office in January, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been racing to fulfill the president's promise of 450 miles of border wall before the end of 2020.

According to the CBP, 402 miles have been completed as of November 16.

Late October, the CBP celebrated reaching the milestone of 400 miles of new wall and noted that approximately 10 miles of new wall was being constructed per week.

"The border wall system is Exhibit A in showing that the Trump Administration is serious about border security," CBP's acting commissioner Mark Morgan said.

"This wall saves American lives. Every single bit of concrete and steel that goes into the ground stops dangerous people and deadly drugs from coming into this country."

However, although only 25 miles of the 402 miles constructed so far had no barrier before Trump took office while the rest replaced dilapidated sections of wall or parts that only had vehicle barriers, The New York Times reported this weekend.

S President Donald Trump participates in a ceremony commemorating the 200th mile of border wall at the international border with Mexico in San Luis, Arizona, June 23, 2020. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Although Biden has said he will halt any new construction on the border wall, The Times reported that immigration issues such as ending travel bans and easing asylum restrictions are at the forefront of the incoming commander-in-chief's mind, rather than dismantling Trump's signature project.

Some advisers in Biden's transition team denied to the newspaper that there would be any attempts to tear down the existing wall.

According to The Times, some of the costliest construction this month is occurring in Guadalupe Canyon, an area home to rare species of birds that local ranchers say is so remote that illegal crossings were extremely rare.

Jay Field, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, told the newspaper that the cost for the segment of the wall in the canyon's "challenging" terrain was about $41 million per mile.

That amount is more than double the wall's average cost per mile detailed in a CBP report released earlier this year.

Meanwhile, engineering reports said a three-mile section of border wall that was recently built along the shores of the Rio Grande in Texas is already at risk of collapsing.

Vicki Gaubeca, the director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, said the border wall was a "colossal waste of taxpayer dollars."

"Trump's vanity wall has been a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars, has severely harmed our environment and placed endangered species at higher risk for extinction, and forced more people to cross in dangerous, remote areas of our borderlands, placing them at higher risk of death," she tweeted earlier this month.