UPDATE: Event to mark completion of 300th mile of border wall canceled

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UPDATE: The event to mark the completion of the Trump administration’s 300th mile of border wall on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020 has been canceled. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan were expected to visit Hidalgo, Texas, for the event. In a media advisory, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Dustin D. Araujo of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector said, “The planned press event and any scheduled interviews have been cancelled. Apologies for any inconvenience.” A media event with Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott in El Paso, Texas, also was canceled, a CBP spokesman told Border Report.

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The leaders of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are scheduled to travel to South Texas on Thursday morning and stop at a section of border wall to mark the 300th mile in the Trump administration’s quest to complete 450 miles by the presidential election.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan are both planning to christen a section of the newly completed segment of border wall in Hidalgo, Texas. “The event will provide context for the coordinated border wall construction efforts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and its impact on border security,” according to a statement DHS officials issued Wednesday announcing the event for news media.

Border Report plans to ask Wolf to explain why some border-wall opponents say the administration has only completed 5 new miles of border wall, not 300, calling the new panels “replacement wall.” There also is concern about so much ongoing construction in border towns during this pandemic and the possibility of out-of-town workers bringing in COVID-19.

Wolf last visited the Rio Grande Valley south of Donna, Texas, on Nov. 21, 2019, to inspect border wall panels being installed on a segment of wall that cost about $26 million per mile. At the time, he called the border wall “a game-changer” and praised the 110 miles of border wall, flood lights, security roads and other sensors planned for South Texas.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump nominated Wolf to be the permanent head of the agency, the largest law enforcement agency in the nation. His nomination is pending confirmation by the Senate.

Morgan and Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott are expected to stop in El Paso, Texas, early Thursday morning.

Sandra Sanchez can be reached at Ssanchez@borderreport.com.

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