On June 23, President Trump made his first visit of the year to the Mexican border wall, a project that was a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign platform. The wall is expected to be a top re-election talking point for the Trump campaign, but progress on its construction has lagged considerably behind the administration's stated goals.

Trump’s visit was also meant to celebrate the completion of 200 miles of the wall. Despite the congratulatory tone, the 200 miles is less than half of Trump’s stated goal of having 450 miles of wall built by the end of 2020.

Complicating this issue further is that only three miles of the wall has been built along portions of the border where there had already been structures. The rest of the progress made on the wall has been made by replacing old or dilapidated structures and fencing.

“My administration has done more than any administration in the history to secure our southern border,” Trump boasted during the visit. “Our border has never been more secure.”

Trump also attempted to boast about the 84% drop in undocumented border crossing within the last year. This statistic may have more to do with the coronavirus outbreak and the administration’s comprehensive measures to curb immigration.

In all, the U.S.-Mexico border spans 1,954 miles. To cover a little over 200 of those miles with Trump’s much-touted structure has so far cost the administration $15 billion and garnered several legal challenges.

Recently, Trump’s wall scored a major legal win when the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge against the administration’s use of a legal waiver to bypass requirements in order to essentially fast-track its construction.

“We're disappointed that the Supreme Court won't consider the Trump administration's flagrant abuse of the law to fast-track border wall construction,” Jean Su, attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement about the decision. “This administration has made a mockery of the Constitution to build an enormously destructive wall. We'll continue to fight these illegal waivers and do everything possible to prevent further damage to the beautiful borderlands.”

A portion of the wall on the US-Mexico border, seen from Chihuahua State in Mexico
A portion of the wall on the US-Mexico border, seen from Chihuahua State in Mexico AFP / HERIKA MARTINEZ