Trump Administration Wants $18 Billion to Build 'Big, Beautiful Wall'

Jan 07, 2018, 04:13
Trump Administration Wants $18 Billion to Build 'Big, Beautiful Wall'

In all, the Trump administration is seeking $33 billion in funding, of which $8.5 billion will go towards recruiting 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and other officials over a seven-year period to be deployed along the border with Mexico.

The proposal by Customs and Border Protection calls for 316 miles (505 kilometers) of additional barrier by September 2027, bringing total coverage to 970 miles (1,552 kilometers), or almost half the border, according to a USA official with direct knowledge of the matter. The funds, according to documents circulating in Congress, would pay for 723 miles of barrier - 316 miles of new construction, and 407 miles of upgrades in areas that are already fenced.

President Donald Trump reiterated Saturday that he wants to work with Democrats to find a permanent legislative solution to allow those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to stay in the country, but only if it comes with a long-promised border wall and changes to the immigration system.

"But Mexico will pay".

Speaking from Camp David after a meeting with Republican leaders, Trump said he wants the program, which has prevented the deportation of young undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, to remain. Although DACA expires in early March under Trump's order, for technical reasons advocates and legal experts see late January as a critical juncture for Congress to address the status of 'dreamers'. The entire border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, although much of it is already impassable.

The White House has demanded that funds to build the wall are included in any legislation meant to help DACA recipients.

"President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall", Durbin said in a statement on the spending request.

Mexico has steadfastly rejected President Trump's demand that Mexico pay for the wall and few doubt that U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill - if the wall ends up being built. The plan provides one of the most detailed blueprints of how the president hopes to carry out a signature campaign pledge.

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