Trump Puts Border Wall Back on Agenda as CBP 'Confident' They Can Build it

President Donald Trump sought to put one of his longtime favorite campaign issues back on the agenda on Sunday as he reaffirmed his vow to see 450 miles of border wall built by the end of 2020.

"We have now built 240 Miles of new Border Wall on our Southern Border," Trump said in a tweet. "We will have over 450 Miles built by the end of the year."

The president then appeared to suggest his administration has "established some of the best Border Numbers ever," at a time when U.S. borders are largely shut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Still, Trump said: "The Radical Left Democrats want Open Borders for anyone, including many criminals, to come in!"

Newsweek subscription offers >

In a statement sent to Newsweek, CBP spokesperson Matthew Dyman said that as of July 10, 235.4 miles of border wall system had been constructed. Thus, 240 miles as of July 13, he said, "sounds correct."

Newsweek subscription offers >

The president, he said, would have received border wall status updates over the weekend.

If 240 miles has been built as of Sunday evening, that means as many as 11 miles of the border wall have been constructed since last Tuesday, July 7, when CBP said approximately 229 miles had been constructed.

At the time, Dyman told Newsweek that the agency was feeling "confident that we can reach the goal of seeing at least 450 miles of border wall constructed by the end of 2020."

The majority of the new border wall system has been constructed in place of previously existing "dilapidated and/or outdated designs."

However, Dyman maintained: "Every mile of border wall system construction is new. Whether we're constructing in a place where previously no barriers existed or replacing a 5 foot steel vehicle barrier with an 18 or 30 foot steel bollard wall complemented with roads and technology, my agents are getting the capability they need to do their job safely and effectively in these locations," the CBP spokesperson said.

As of last Tuesday, CBP said it had at least 326 miles of border wall currently "under construction," with another 183 miles "under pre-construction."

Trump's renewed vow to see 450 miles of border barriers built by the end of the year comes after the president appeared to waver on the commitment earlier this year.

In May, the president said he hoped to see at least 400 miles of the border wall built by the end of 2020, with the 500-mile mark to be reached at the start of the next year.

Now, it appears both the president and CBP are confident that 450 miles can be built before the deadline is reached.

If Trump is successful in seeing the promise fulfilled, it will likely be seen as a major victory by his supporters.

Initially in his election campaign, he had vowed to build a towering wall all along the southern border that he said would bring an end to irregular crossings into the U.S.

However, he later acknowledged that the border wall would not be a 2,000-mile sea-to-sea structure. Instead, he said, the border wall would see "steel barriers" erected "in high-priority locations."

Asked for comment, Trump's campaign team referred Newsweek to the White House. Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

This article has been updated with a response from CBP and from Trump's campaign team.

Trump border wall
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. As of Sunday, July 12, 2020, Trump said 240 miles of border had been built. SAUL LOEB/AFP
Trump Puts Border Wall Back on Agenda as CBP 'Confident' They Can Build it | U.S.