A planned visit today by members of the Trump administration to announce the completion of the 300th mile of a border wall system, was canceled late Wednesday night.
Just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, a spokesman with U.S. Border Patrol sent an email stating the visit from Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan had been canceled.
The acting secretaries were set to mark the construction of the 300th mile of the border wall system during a media event Thursday morning in Hidalgo.
Border Patrol officials had not responded to a question posed by The Monitor as to why the event had been canceled as of this posting.
The event Thursday in Hidalgo was billed as providing context for the coordinated border wall construction efforts with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a release from U.S. Border Patrol.
A spokesman for Border Patrol would not disclose exactly how many miles of new wall system were completed in the Valley ahead of the event, stating only that all the projects in the Valley were in areas where no wall structure existed before.
In other states, the projects that made up the 300 miles across the four states included areas where wall structures already existed. In these cases, the structure was replaced with new wall elements, including barriers that are anywhere from 18 to 30-feet tall, and technology, such as sensors to help agents in the field.
Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump, Morgan, and officials with the Army Corps of Engineers, announced the completion of just a little more than 280 miles during a stop in Yuma, Arizona.
During that stop, Army Corps officials said they were working on completing a little over 10 miles a week and had anticipated finishing the 300th mile soon.
Morgan, who also spoke at the event with the president, said the new wall system will help agents on the ground with stopping gangs, unauthorized migrants and drugs coming over the U.S.-Mexico border.
In June, Morgan said he expected a total of 450 miles completed by the end of 2020. It is unclear if that goal will be met.
Trump, despite running his campaign on building a great wall with Mexico, continues to fight in court with landowners who oppose construction on their land.
Wolf, who has been in his position since about April 2019, will be making his second trip to the Valley since becoming the acting secretary. Wolf visited the Valley last April as family units and unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers were arriving in large numbers in the Valley.
The president recently nominated Wolf to become Homeland Security chief.