President Donald Trump’s famous wall along the United States-Mexico border will take three and a half years to complete at a cost of up to 21.6 billion dollars, according to a Department for Homeland Security internal report.
The DHS estimated price tag is much higher than the 12 billion figure circulated by candidate Donald Trump during his election campaign. There were also estimates as high as 15 billion dollars from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, but DHS’s 21.6 billion figure totally stole the show.
The internal report will be presented to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly next week. However, President Trump’s administration does not have to take any actions over DHS’s recommendations/analysis.
Trump’s Wall will consist of a series of fences and walls and the DHS plan describes what it would take to completely seal the US border in the 3 phases of its construction, which will cover over 1250 miles by the end of 2020.
There are already 654 miles of fortified border wall hence the new one will basically extend the length of the entire US border with Mexico.
The report seen by Reuters is the latest in a series of various estimates/timelines floated around since Donald Trump made the building a big beautiful wall (and Mexico will pay for it!) on the southern border a quintessential part of his campaign rhetoric. Now it’s happening folks!
The DHS report seems to be the final step before the administration will be moving forward with the project, i.e. requesting funding from the US Congress for getting started with constructing the wall.
The report describes how the first phase (estimated cost $360 mn) will be the smallest, covering just 26 miles near San Diego, El Paso and Rio Grande Valley. Also, it assumes that the Department for Homeland Security will receive funding from Congress by May of 2017 while the construction will begin by September, giving it enough time to secure contractors and the whole nine yards.
The second phase will cover 151 miles in Texas and Arizona. The third phase would cover an unspecified 1080 miles, essentially sealing off the southern border.
President Trump asked Congress to fund the wall upfront, with Mexico reimbursing the US taxpayers at a later date. Obviously, Mexico insisted that will never happen.
We’ll just have to wait and see who was right.
Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake