Years after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged that he would “build the wall,” his signature campaign promise may finally be nearing fruition.
The Washington Post reported Monday that the president has assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser in the White House, to oversee construction of the much-heralded wall.
Trump has put Kushner in charge of a variety of initiatives throughout his presidency, giving the husband of his daughter, Ivanka, a prominent role in Middle East peace negotiations, trade policy and criminal justice reform, among other issues.
In his newest assignment, Kushner has set up biweekly White House meetings to discuss progress on the wall with a variety of government officials, according to The Post.
The senior adviser also serves as Trump’s messenger, communicating the president’s instructions and wishes to staffers.
Among the president’s goals? An ambitious 400 miles of wall constructed by Election Day.
As The New York Times reported on Nov. 8 that a mere eight miles of original border fencing had gone up since Trump took office.
That eight-mile section cost $167 million.
Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, praised Kushner’s business acumen in his new assignment.
“He doesn’t need to know the intricacies of the wall. He understands building stuff. He understands timelines,” Morgan told The Post.
According to “officials closely involved with the border wall project,” Kushner has taken on more responsibility in the details of the project, including the acquisition and seizure of private property.
Kushner reportedly has set a goal of constructing 30 to 35 miles of new border barriers per month by spring.
With the problem of obtaining privately owned land, however, that timeline might be optimistic.
In Texas, the Trump administration is looking to construct 166 miles of new barriers. The vast majority of that land is currently privately owned.
The president hopes to put up 450 miles of barriers along the border by the end of 2020.
In order to do so, the federal government will need 800 filings to seize private land.
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