It will stretch all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Coast, and take about 16 years to finish construction. And now, President Donald Trump wants the United States to pay for it because Mexico refuses to do so.
As the White House and Congress negotiate the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Trump is asking for $18 billion in taxpayer money to fund his border wall. In exchange for the money, the protection program will be allowed to continue in some form.
At nearly every single Trump campaign rally, he would shout at the crowd, “We’re going to build a wall and who’s going to pay for it?” Trump supporters would answer with a resounding, “Mexico!”
Mexico has repeatedly refused to pay, and in a private call, Trump told Mexican President ‘Enrique Peña Nieto’ that funding the wall was “the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important [thing we] talk about.”
Publically, Trump continues to promote Mexico’s payment of the wall “through reimbursement/other.” He makes increasingly ridiculous statements about what the wall will look like and the things it’ll feature. Privately, plenty of Republicans in Congress perceive the whole notion of Mexico paying for the wall as more of a metaphor.
“I think it’s another bit of campaign rhetoric,” Rep. Francis Rooney stated. “It’s highly unusual, but I don’t think that anyone during the campaign seriously thought that Mexico would pay for that wall even though we all desperately believe the wall is a metaphor for border security.”
According to CNBC’s Kate Drew, building the wall will have an estimated cost of around $20 billion, with a further $2.1 billion spent yearly to cover border-patrol agents and maintenance costs.
Article Inspired by THINK PROGRESS // Trump wants $18 billion from Congress – Not Mexico – to build wall.