The border wall is at the center of the partial federal government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history. President Trump is insisting on billions of dollars to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border before he reopens the government.
How has the current wall worked to secure the border? How many people has it deterred?
Funding and technology for security along the southern border has increased nearly every year for the past 15 and been effective. The number of people listed by the U.S. Border Patrol as apprehensions/inadmissable has risen and fallen by more than 150,000 in the past four years.
On the table: The Democratic-led House passed legislation Jan. 3, with five Republicans voting in favor, that would have devoted $1.3 billion for fencing and more for border security. The bill would have funded the Department of Homeland Security at current spending levels through Feb. 8. Trump refused to sign it because it did not include funding for miles of construction of a 30-foot-tall wall, which is at the heart of the current shutdown.
Included in the House bill:
• More than $1.3 billion for new fencing in the Rio Grande Valley and funding to replace secondary fencing in the San Diego sector and other existing pedestrian fencing.
• $366.5 million for border security technology.
• $7.7 million to hire 328 additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
• $224.6 million for “nonintrusive Inspection equipment” at ports of entry.
• $7.08 billion for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This map below was created by the U.S. Border Patrol in December 2017. It shows where fencing is in place along the southern U.S. border. The darkest areas above the border indicate where more apprehensions were made.
Over the decades
Here are the figures for apprehensions of undocumented immigrants at the southern border since 1959.
This chart shows U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions and arrests of “inadmissable” immigrants from recent fiscal years at the southern border.
Border patrol forces
Staffing in southern U.S., by fiscal year.
Source: Mercury news
Here’s how much and how fast apprehensions at the border change