President Donald J. Trump will travel to Calexico on April 5 to visit a newly completed section of the “promised border wall,” a White House official told this newspaper on background April 1.
“During this visit, the President will participate in a roundtable with local law enforcement officials and will then proceed to a briefing and tour of the completed section of the wall. President Trump has not yet visited this section of the border,” according to the White House official.
The only local confirmation of the visit came from the U.S. Border Patrol El Centro Sector.
“President Trump is planning to come out here, but details unfortunately are being handled by the White House press team,” Assistant Border Patrol Chief Agent David S. Kim said April 1.
“On the Border Patrol side, we’re assisting with his security contingent,” Kim added.
The New York Times first reported March 31 that Trump would visit Calexico this week to tour the border.
A 2.25-mile section of the border fence on Calexico’s west side was replaced with a 30-foot-high “bollard-style” barrier with narrowly spaced steel posts. The previous fence was 18 feet high and solid.
The project, completed in fall 2018, was initiated under the Obama Administration in 2009 but construction did not begin until 2018 under the Trump Administration, a federal official said.
Completion of the $18 million project was marked by an Oct. 26 visit from U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen who held a press conference in its looming shadow, stating “walls work.”
Vice President Mike Pence also visited Imperial County on April 30, 2018, amid increasing attention to illegal immigration.