The Trump-campaign’s proposal of building a wall along the southern border has definitely caused a great deal of talk in contemporary politics, whether negative or positive. It has been questioned if the wall will provide greater security to the U.S, however the biggest question that arises is “How will it be payed for?”
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump has vowed to use his “excellent negotiating skills” in order to convince Mexico to cover the full costs of the wall, a notion that has certainly resonated with his supporters. We have heard promises from many high-ranking officials of the Trump Administration claiming that will be the case, and conversely Mexican leaders, organizations, and companies resisting to cover the entire cost of securing the southern border of the U.S
But according to the White House Budget Plan released on Thursday, which also included spending 1 billion dollars on detention and deportation as well as hiring hundreds of new government lawyers and thousands of law enforcement officials, included a down payment of 2 billion dollars is expected on the wall and 2.6 billion on technology on the wall, or “tactical infrastructure.” The plan also included 1.5 billion for detention facilities and funding to remove immigrants, as well as 314 million towards hiring and training Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Custom enforcement’s.
In addition to this, Trump is asking for 1 billion from the Justice Department and 80 million for immigration courts. But these numbers are only the scratch as some experts say. Fellow Republican Mitch McConnell estimates the total cost of the wall between 12-15 billion.
The wall is expected to take, if done quickly, 2-4 years to complete and Trump claims he wants to start construction as soon as possible, and certainly does not want to wait. This limits the president’s ability to maneuver the situation with Mexican leaders. Although such proposals obviously would infuriate partisan democrats, some Trump voters and Republicans feel that they are already being let down.
“I don’t feel like waiting a year or year and a half. We’re going to start building. Mexico in some form and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen. Whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment,” as Trump said in press conference.
Former senior official at the Department of Homeland Security and director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center Theresa Brown claims such promises might be “easily made on the campaign trail” but are “much harder” to provide the results for when elected.
During the President’s campaign, there was a lot of talk about how exactly Mexico would pay for the wall. In raising tariffs, prices for visas, etc. with Mexico, the argument is that the nation would gradually pay the United States back for the wall. However, these negotiations have not begun yet, but it is only a few weeks into the new administration’s term, making it hard to truly know who will be paying for the wall.
One can only surely determine if the President’s promises were a big stretch until years from now.