The United States is quickly expanding a state-of-the-art border wall system along the U.S. southern border. The new system is deterring illegal crossings and increasing security, President Trump said.
On June 23, Trump announced the completion of 340 kilometers of new wall and said the U.S. is on pace to complete 724 kilometers by the end of 2020. The wall includes cameras and sensors that allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to monitor and prevent illegal crossings.
“This is the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure anywhere in the world,” Trump told a gathering in Yuma, Arizona, near the border. “Our border has never been more secure.”
Construction crews are completing an average of 1.5 kilometers of wall per day, said Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Trump said the expanded border wall is helping slow illegal immigration into the United States. He noted that the last two months have seen the lowest number of illegal crossings in years, while illegal crossings from Central America are down 97 percent. Illegal immigration into the United States is down 84 percent from this time last year, he said.
“Nearly 450,000 pounds of drugs have been seized this year, and 2,337 criminal aliens have been apprehended,” Trump added.
In 2019, the U.S. signed Asylum Cooperation Agreements with Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to reduce illegal immigration to the United States and promote access to humanitarian protection in the region. The United States also expressed its intention to work with those countries to enhance their capacity to provide international protection to asylum seekers and refugees.
The U.S. State Department in April announced $258 million in aid for the three countries. Most of the money will go to improving each country’s law enforcement sector, which will help reduce crime and improve the economic outlook in those countries.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced June 24 that the U.S. intends to provide an additional $252 million to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This additional assistance seeks to make the three countries more secure and prosperous, and further decrease illegal immigration to the United States.
216 miles of new border wall system completed. Construction underway on an additional 339 miles.
— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) June 23, 2020