While the president-elect has said he will halt new wall construction, other immigration priorities like ending travel bans, accepting more refugees and easing asylum restrictions are eclipsing calls to tear down portions of the wall that already exist.
Advisers involved with the transition team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss planning for the incoming administration, rejected the notion that there would be any attempt to dismantle the existing border wall, with one adviser calling the wall a “distraction.”
Customs and Border Protection officials are still rushing to meet Mr. Trump’s mandate of 450 miles of new wall construction during his term, nearly doubling the rate of construction since the start of the year. The administration had built 402 miles of wall as of Nov. 13.
Of that, about 25 miles had no barrier before Mr. Trump took office. The rest replaced much smaller, dilapidated sections of wall, or sections that had only vehicle barriers, which border officials say did not deter migrants crossing on foot.