- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

President Trump has once again cut the size of his border wall, saying Tuesday that there only needs to be between 700 and 800 miles of barriers.

It’s the latest reduction for Mr. Trump, who during the campaign left the impression that his planned wall would stretch along the 1,950-mile border, but last year said it may just be 900 miles.

His own Homeland Security Department has called for about 1,000, in a plan sent to Congress just a few months ago.

That makes Mr. Trump’s latest demand for less fencing all the more striking.

“We need to have a wall that’s about 700-800 miles,” the president told reporters during a meeting with leaders of Baltic nations.

The border currently has 354 miles that are protected by pedestrian fencing and another 300 miles blocked by vehicle barriers, which can hinder cars and trucks but can easily be stepped over or under by people on foot, and by some wildlife.

Homeland Security, in its plan submitted to Congress this year, asked for about 350 miles of new wall, and called for replacing about 350 miles of existing fence and vehicle barrier.

Mr. Trump, however, has struggled to get funding from Congress. Lawmakers approved $1.6 billion for fence construction in the new spending bill Mr. Trump signed last month, which the government says will add or replace about 100 miles of fencing.

The exact breakdown, however, has been difficult to come by. Officials said part of that depends on what style of fencing ends up being built. A 30-foot fence, such as the one currently being built in Calexico, California, is more expensive than 18-foot fencing that had been the preferred design in past years.


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