"Mark my words," Donald Trump said when he launched his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015.
Trump had just promised to "build a great wall," on the U.S.-Mexico border, "very inexpensively."
"And I will have Mexico pay for that wall," he said.
More than three years into Trump's presidency, his administration's actions have not risen to his promise.
What did Trump accomplish?
Trump's administration mainly replaced barriers installed by previous administrations with new ones that are expected to be more effective in stopping illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Mexico has not paid for any construction. Americans are paying the costs
The U.S.-Mexico border spans approximately 2,000 miles, and about a third of it has barriers raised by the U.S government over decades. That hasn't increased during Trump's presidency.
Some sections of the border have up to three layers of barriers that run parallel to the border. The first impediment a migrant heading to the United States may face is known by officials as the primary barrier — fencing to stop people on foot and in vehicles. Secondary barriers, located behind the primary, are in place to stop pedestrians. (A third layer, or tertiary fence, is primarily used to delineate property lines rather than to deter illegal entries, said a 2017 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.)
When Trump was campaigning to become president, the southwest border had 654 miles of primary barriers. Under Trump, that has increased by three miles, to 657.
What else? As of late June, 184 miles of dilapidated primary barriers were replaced with updated fences. Twelve miles that had dilapidated secondary barriers now have new structures. And secondary barriers were raised for the first time along 17 miles.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the years has used bollard, wire mesh, and chain link style fencing as barriers. "Landing mat" fencing — built using Vietnam War-era helicopter landing mats — has also been used. The new barriers going up include 18- to 30-foot high steel bollard fences.
The Trump administration says it's built a new "border wall system" — steel-bollard fences, all-weather roads, lighting, cameras and other surveillance technology.
The barriers constructed are very different from the pedestrian and vehicle fencing that they are replacing, said a January report from the Congressional Research Service. They pose "a formidable barrier, but it is not the high, thick masonry structure that most dictionaries term a 'wall'," the report said.
Overall, when Trump says they've built 200 miles or more of border wall, what he's referring to is the replacement of older barriers with new fences, not 200 miles of barriers protecting the border for the first time.
It's not a wall, but it's not nothing.
"Replacing vehicle barriers with the bollard-style pedestrian barriers may not represent new miles of primary barriers along the border, but it does represent a new obstacle that changes the calculus of those attempting to cross the border between ports of entry," the Congressional Research Service report said.
Trump gave different answers during his 2016 campaign when asked about the cost of building a border wall. At times he said $8 billion, or $12 billion.
Customs and Border Protection in June told PolitiFact that the administration had identified approximately $15 billion to construct more than 700 miles of new "border wall system." (That mileage includes projects completed, and about 400 of the 700 miles are replacement projects.)
The Mexican government is not one of the funding sources. The money would come from the U.S. departments of Homeland Security and Defense, and from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
Trump has largely failed to get Congress to appropriate funds to speed up construction. Congress has appropriated $4.47 billion for border barrier planning and construction: about $1.04 billion specifically for barrier replacement projects, about $1.41 without specifying whether funding was for barrier replacements, and about $2.02 billion specifically for construction needs in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
Another obstacle Trump has faced comes from landowners in Texas who are putting up a legal fight against the administration's intent to obtain their private land for border barrier construction. Given the current pace of construction, ongoing court battles related to the Defense Department funding and land needed for construction, the Trump administration will not complete a total 700 miles by the end of 2020
Trump did not campaign saying he would improve or reinforce existing barriers, and that's mainly what he's done. When Trump said he would build a wall, he gave the impression that he would barricade parts of the border that were not protected. The work that's been completed doesn't reflect his campaign rhetoric. Mexico also hasn't paid for the construction.
Trump did not fulfill his promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. We rate this a Promise Broken.