NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Vice President Mike Pence reaffirmed President Donald Trump’s promise to build a security wall on the United States’ border with Mexico while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
“Make no mistake about it, we’re going to build that wall,” Pence said.
Immediately following the statement, the crowd at CPAC began chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
Pence also reviewed some of the first-year accomplishments of the Trump administration.
He highlighted the appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Trump’s speech at the 45th March for Life, and the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord as major milestones since Trump’s inauguration last January. Additionally, Pence praised Trump for his tax reform initiatives and his efforts in the ongoing war on terror.
“It’s been a year of promises made and promises kept,” Pence said.
Several college students attending the conference, however, shared their concerns about the Trump administration’s success and its future plans.
“We shut down the government twice over the promise to build that wall,” said Jordan Kalinowski, a College Republican at Pennsylvania State University. “Even though this was a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign, unless Republicans and Democrats can reach an agreement, we’re not going to increase border security.”
Kalinowski said he does not have faith that lawmakers will be able to do this.
“Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever get a wall,” he said.
Robert Whitehead, a Tufts University College Republican, said he’s a “huge skeptic” of the wall, even if that is an unpopular opinion among Trump supporters.
“I think a security fence would do just as well in most places,” he said.
Whitehead added that he believes that there are other more effective ways to strengthen border security, such as more effectively regulating people who have overstayed their green card limits.
“The wall is a big applause line Trump people pull out a lot,” he said. “But it won’t accomplish anything.”
Mark Sisson, a junior at Hastings College, said he sees the wall as a metaphor that the Trump administration uses to showcase its reliability.
“Trump is all about fulfilling promises. The wall is just another Trump promise,” he said. “I think there will be a border security upgrade in the coming years, but it will take some time.”