Running for reelection four years later, the President is now declaring at his rallies that Mexico is indeed paying for the wall.”And by the way, Mexico is paying,” Trump said at a rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday.
“They hate to say it: Mexico is paying for it.””And Mexico is paying for the wall, by the way. You know that. I’ve been saying it. They hate to hear that. But they’re paying,” Trump said at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.”And as I said, Mexico is paying for the wall,” he added at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.
“As far as I know, there is no basis for President Trump’s comments that Mexico will pay for the wall, period,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration practice at Cornell Law School.
“They have not in the past, and I have not seen anything to indicate a change in the future.”Trump has been making this claim since earlier in his term. It has never been true.The wall has been funded in part with US federal money appropriated by Congress and in part with US federal money Trump has unilaterally — and controversially — diverted to the project from other programs.
According to an official update emailed to CNN in September by US Customs and Border Protection, Trump is using $6.3 billion diverted from counter-narcotics funding, $3.6 billion diverted from military construction funding, just over $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund and just over $5 billion in directly appropriated funds.
(There are ongoing legal challenges about Trump’s use of funds that were not directly appropriated.)As of September 18, 331 miles of wall had been built under Trump, according to the official update.
Of those, nine miles had been built where no primary barriers existed before; 295 miles had been built in place of old barriers the government says were “dilapidated and/or outdated”; 27 miles were new “secondary wall” to reinforce primary barriers.
The Mexican government has helped the Trump administration on immigration in other significant ways. For example, it has deployed thousands of federal forces to intercept migrants before they reach the US. Some analysts have described this effort as a de facto wall.Still, Trump’s wall is a physical project that costs billions of dollars. And that money is coming from Americans.