Morgan would not comment on when ground would be broken for "new wall."
The Trump administration is replacing old, ineffective barriers at the U.S. southern border, but they cannot say when they will begin constructing wall in areas with no existing border barrier.
Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Mark Morgan provided updates on wall construction during a press briefing Monday, explaining that the administration has erected 65 miles of border wall to replace vehicular barriers or otherwise small, dilapidated structures that are not effective deterrents for pedestrian border crossers. Comparatively, the new wall largely consists of 30-foot tall structures that are embedded in concrete.
“If you go to those areas where there was pedestrian barriers or their old landing mat, where they can just knock it over the car, or cut a hole in it in seconds — where new wall was going in, that’s exactly what it is,” Morgan argued. “And if you go out there and ask the agents, they’ll tell you that’s new wall.”
Morgan did acknowledge a difference between what he calls “new wall” and “new linear miles.” The new linear miles would encompass border wall being built in sectors where no barriers — no matter how small — previously existed. He noted that by 2020 the Rio Grande Valley sector could “easily reach 100 new miles of linear wall.”