Building The Wall: Jared Kushner Tasked With Overseeing Construction Of US Border Wall

Jared Kushner is being tasked with another White House responsibility. This will add to his list of jobs, which already includes securing peace in the Middle East and reforming the criminal justice system. Sources close to the matter told the Washington Post, the president’s son-in-law will now be monitoring the development of the border wall.

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According to Trump administration officials, frustration over the lack of progress on the wall led to the decision. Kushner has reportedly been holding biweekly meetings over the progress of the wall with top officials with the goal of moving construction forward.

The president’s son-in-law is said to be looking at delivering 450 miles of the new wall before the 2020 election, which would cover nearly one-quarter of the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

However, the barrier’s construction has experienced multiple setbacks so far, which Kushner has attributed to mismanagement from former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

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Kushner has reportedly been seeking to pressure U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the purchase of private land to make space for the wall. In order to reach the intended goal of 450 miles of the wall before the election, a total of 30 to 35 miles of the wall must be put up every month.

The good news for those who wish to see a wall built along the U.S.–Mexican border is that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has built seven miles of 30-foot-high wall in the past few months, and roughly 30 more miles of high fencing is slated for construction.

The bad news is that there’s still a lot of border to go.

The U.S. government is currently installing sections of Trump’s 30-foot-high wall in three places. The good news for those who wish to see a wall built along the U.S.–Mexican border is that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has built seven miles of 30-foot-high wall in the past few months, and roughly 30 more miles of high fencing is slated for construction.

The bad news is that there’s still a lot of border to go. Check out what the National Review wrote:

“New reports from Carlos Diaz, southwest branch chief of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, indicate that one of the three current wall projects is nearly complete, another is about a quarter of the way done, and one just began earlier this month.

The first border-wall construction project began in February near downtown Calexico, Calif., roughly 120 miles east of San Diego. Here, construction contractor SWF Constructors, of Omaha, Neb., is putting up a 30-foot high “bollard-style wall” to replace 2.25 miles of wall built in the 1990s out of recycled scraps of metal and steel plates. (The bollard style uses bars, so that border patrol officers can see through to the other side.)

When construction began, the agency stated, “Although the existing wall has proven effective at deterring unlawful cross border activity, smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years, resulting in costly repairs.” When construction began, David Kim, assistant chief patrol agent for the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, emphasized to local media that the construction was not tied to any particular immigration debate in Washington. It was, he said, a “local tactical infrastructure project that was planned for quite some time.”

This wall project, estimated to cost about $18 million, is approaching completion, with roughly 1.8 miles — 1,171 panels – completed as of this week.

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In April, CBP began the second section near Santa Theresa, N.M., which is near the Texas-New Mexico state line. A 20-mile section of existing vehicle barrier that begins just west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry and extending westward will be replaced with an 18- to 30-foot-high bollard-style wall. About 5.3 miles, or 3,851 panels, have been completed.


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