President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary stated on Wednesday that she is “confounded” by Democrats’ resistance to building a border wall, given they funded one in the past and it worked.
“We know that you are adamant about that wall, just as much as the president,” Fox News anchor Sandra Smith said to Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, and then asked, “When you hear Democrats so firmly against that, what are they getting wrong?”
“I’m a little bit confounded by that,” the secretary replied. “The wall works. We have evidence and figures that show that.”
“When the wall went up in Yuma (Arizona) and San Diego, illegal entries went down 95 percent,” Nielsen added. “I must remind the viewers that in 2006, it was a bipartisan approach to securing our country.”
The Trump official was referring to the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which passed both chambers of Congress by large majorities.
Among those who voted for the legislation were then Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as the current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Speaking from the Senate floor on Wednesday, Schumer called a border wall a “symbolic and ineffective political gesture.“
“It’s been bipartisan before. It’s needed. It works,” Nielson stated. “We’ve heard from the men and women that are on the front lines, that that is what they need as part of their toolkit to secure our borders.”
The secretary told Fox News that the administration is seeking funding for 700 miles of wall construction to target strategic areas, not the entire 2,000 mile border.
“One part of the border is not like another,” Nielsen explained.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration wants Congress to authorize $18 billion to build the wall over a ten year period.
The president has repeatedly stated there will be no deal on giving permanent status to the DACA recipients that does not include funding for the wall.
There are currently approximately 650 miles of fencing in various forms along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Around 350 miles is pedestrian fencing, usually about 15 feet tall, like in San Diego, and 300 miles consists of vehicle barriers.
Eight prototypes of President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” were completed in October near San Diego.
Each is 30 feet high. Four are made of concrete, while the four others incorporate concrete among other construction materials.
The Hill reported that Trump plans to view the prototypes later this month, some time following his State of the Union address.
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