President Trump on Monday welcomed thousands of children to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, and took advantage of the opportunity to tout his long-promised wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.
“Oh it's happening, it’s being built now,” Trump told one boy as he colored pictures with a group of children on the South Lawn.
“This young kid just said keep building the wall, can you believe that?” the president told reporters, adding: “He's going to be a conservative someday.”
While Trump likes to say the wall he promised to build during the 2016 presidential is “being built,” in reality the work being done is on existing fencing that was built during the George W. Bush administration. The southern border is nearly 2,000 miles long and already has about 650 miles of different types of barriers, including short vehicle barricades and tall steel fences, according to AP.
Congress refused to fund the new wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for, which led to a 35-day partial government shutdown. In February, the president declared a national emergency in order to divert money from other government projects in order to fulfill his signature campaign promise.
Several organizations brought lawsuits over the declaration.
He later threatened to close the southern border over congressional Democrats' inaction on illegal immigration, only to back away from that threat.
Earlier this month, Trump traveled to Calexico, Calif., to tour what the White House called new fencing. But the two-mile section was a long-planned replacement for an older barrier that had been scheduled for replacement under President Obama.
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