Fact-checking: Trump's wall on the Mexican border, a promise partly broken

How many kilometers of wall were erected to shield the border between the United States and Mexico under Donald Trump's tenure, according to the promise he made during his 2016 presidential campaign?

Answer: 480 km, "according to the assessment given by the US president at a meeting after the Republican convention on August 28," BBC Mundo reports. And 507 km according to figures given to the newspaper by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), at the beginning of September.

In reality, points out the newspaper which cross-checked the information, “over these 507 kilometers, most of the work consisted in repairing or replacing structures already in place, ie 451 km of pre-existing wall.”

There remains therefore a balance sheet of 56 km of new wall built.

Sticks in the wheels

The current president campaigning for his re-election on November 3 had promised to build a wall separating the two countries which have 3,142 km of common border. Mexico was going to finance this project, he assured.

A border wall already existed, in the form of grids or barriers of metal or concrete, over a length of 1000 km, before Donald Trump arrived in the White House.

The US president’s stubbornness has nonetheless encountered many obstacles, partly natural or linked to the fact that the border crosses on private land whose owners must give their consent.

The toughest obstacle, however, has arisen in Congress, when it opposed, in early 2019, the release of five billion dollars to build the wall.

The American president then released, in January 2020, some 7.2 billion dollars from the Pentagon's budget for the construction of the wall, bringing the total expenditure of the project to more than 18 billion dollars, taking into account a previous levy. on the Defense budget.

Mexico will “pay”

As for making Mexico pay, the project remained in limbo, underlines BBC Mundo. In their cordial meeting of last July, “Mexican President López Obrador and Donald Trump did not raise the subject.” No more than during the term of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), who had categorically rejected the possibility of financing a border wall.

On the other hand, Mexico pays in a certain way: since the coming to power of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Washington has obtained from Mexico that it takes care of turning back migrants wishing to enter the United States and that 'he takes care of the waiting candidates, who have obtained the examination of their file by the American authorities.