Can Trump Build the Border Wall?

President Donald Trump has been a big supporter of keeping undocumented migrants out of the United States. One of his ideas, which he focused on in his election campaign was to build a wall stretching throughout the border with Mexico. He stated, “Drugs are pouring into our country at a record pace. A lot of people coming in that we can’t have.” That is why he has coined a bill of love to keep undocumented immigrants out of the U.S. and build a wall that he thinks can help accomplish that. One year into his presidency construction on the wall has not started, but he has gotten the ball rolling.

Trump’s Promise

Trump first brought up the 2,000-mile border wall with Mexico back in 2015 when he announced he would be running for President. He stated, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” He also raised eyebrows when he said that Mexico should pay for the wall.

The Cost

Recently the Trump administration state that they were looking for $18 billion over the next 10 years and this is not for the whole construction of the wall, but rather the initial phase. When asked about the cost during his election campaign he believed this phase would cost $10 billion. The estimated costs were derived from the US Customs, and Border Protection and the money would go to 316 miles of new fencing as well as the reinforcing of 400 miles of barriers that are already in place on the borders between the two countries.

There are other significant costs to the construction, as the US Customs and Border Protection also asked for $8 billion for personal and training. On top of that, they requested an additional $5 billion for enhanced border technology as well as an additional $1 billion for access roads along the border. All in all that adds up to a bill of $33 billion over the next decade.

Who Will Foot the Bill?

At first, Trump said Mexico should pay for the border wall, but they have said over-and-over they will not fit the bill. Recently Trump stuck to his guns stating, “I believe Mexico will pay for the wall. I have a very good relationship with Mexico. But yes, in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall.” However, the U.S. taxpayers will have to pay for at least some of the wall if not all of it. In a US Department of Homeland Security report back in February of 2017, it stated that the burden on the taxpayers would be $173 billion. Construction on eight prototypes of walls began in September of 2017 that ranked from 18-30 feet in height. These prototypes are still in San Diego, but none has been chosen to be the main wall. That may never even happen as the funding for the wall still.

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