Trump Puts Jared Kushner In Charge Of Border Wall Construction
President Donald Trump has put his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge of his pet project, the building and completion of the U.S.- Mexico border wall. The president had promised in his 2016 election campaign to build a 450-mile fenced wall with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants from entering the U.S.
Trump is frustrated with the slow speed at which the wall is being constructed. He has made Kushner the de-facto project manager for the construction of the border wall. So far, existing barriers have been replaced with sturdier structures, but new areas of the wall have not made much headway.
Trump had disparagingly branded illegal immigrants as criminals and undesirable elements. He had also pledged that Mexico would foot the bill for building the massive wall.
Kushner has been holding biweekly West Wing meetings about the border wall where he gets to know the wall’s contractors and how money is used.
Kushner is encouraging two federal agencies – the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – to acquire private land required for the wall.
Kushner wants the federal security agencies to aggressively interpret and implement the principle of eminent domain. Officials said that more than 800 filings to seize private property need to be made to meet Trump’s ambitious goal.
Many career officials are opposed to Kushner’s ideas of installing web cameras on the wall and live-streaming the wall’s construction.
The Customs and Border Protection’s acting commissioner Mark Morgan said that Kushner had accelerated decision making on issues related to land acquisition and construction. Kushner’s proponents say that he is bringing a private-sector approach to the border wall project.
Morgan said Kushner was the key to bringing everyone together in the same room. Morgan said, “He doesn’t need to know the intricacies of the wall. He understands building stuff. He understands timelines.”