UPDATED 6:00 AM PT — Monday, Dec. 31, 2018
The nation’s border chief is speaking out on how the federal government plans to spend roughly five billion dollars being requested for the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, as the government shutdown enters week two.
During an interview that aired on Sunday, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan insisted the taxpayer dollars will cover more than just a barrier at the border.
“What we’re talking about is not just a dumb barrier,” he said. “We’re talking about sensors, cameras, lighting, access roads for our agents, a system that helps us secure that area of the border. That’s what we were asking Congress.”
Commissioner McAleenan said border security will take a multi-faceted approach, including new technology, to stop the flow of illegal immigration and drugs from entering the U.S.
“When you’re talking about 60,000 people flowing across the border, when you’re talking about drug smuggling increasing between ports of entry, hard narcotics, synthetic opioids, methamphetamine coming — 25 percent increase the — last year. We’ve seen it increase again the first three months of this year. We need a barrier to help us stop that,” he said.
Commissioner McAleenan also confirmed officials have completed construction of 35 miles of the wall, with 300 million dollars from the 2017 fiscal budget.
Last week, President Trump said the government shutdown will not end until border funding is secured, adding he plans to visit a new stretch of the wall at the end of January.
We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018