It turns out the ongoing battle between President Trump and Democrats over a border wall isn't even over the entire border. A new Axios report breaks down exactly how much of the nearly 2,000-mile southern border is already covered, and how much the president is currently haggling over. Over half of the border is uncovered by any barrier, but some 690 miles already has some fencing or barrier in place. President Trump's current request from Congress is for $5.7 billion for steel barriers along 234 miles of the border, most of it in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and near Laredo.
The fact that there is already hundreds of miles of barrier in place approved by bipartisan majorities in Congress makes the current stalemate all the more perplexing, according to Curtis Collier with U.S. Border Watch. "There is more than 600 miles (of fencing) already there, it's been there for well over a decade," he says. "It's been not only built, but been repaired by the Border Patrol numerous times. And that's what makes this so convoluted...it is not about protecting the American people, it's not about protecting the country, it's all about politics."
The current fight has even prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call for postponing the State of the Union Address due to the partial government shutdown. "(The president) needs to hold the State of the Union Address at the border, and let the American people know that is the state of the union," says Collier. "I think he would get a lot of power out of that."
Ultimately, Collier supports the president taking this stand to try and tackle the immigration issue once and for all. "We just need to get our politicians who have been fighting over immigration for four decades to solve the problem and get it done with," he says. "Because the American people deserve it, and the people who want to come to this country legally deserve it."