Date
30 March 2017
A worker stands near a fence on the US border with Mexico. The Donald Trump administration plans to seal the entire southern border in three phases to curb illegal immigrants. Photo: Reuters
A worker stands near a fence on the US border with Mexico. The Donald Trump administration plans to seal the entire southern border in three phases to curb illegal immigrants. Photo: Reuters

Trump’s Mexico border wall expected to cost over US$21 bln

US President Donald Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border will cost as much as US$21.6 billion and take more than three years to construct, Reuters reports, citing an internal report from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The project, which would involve a series of fences and walls, is expected to seal the southern border in three phases of construction, according to the report.

The price tag is much higher than a US$12 billion figure cited by Trump in his election campaign.

DHS is expected to present its report to the White House in coming days, according to Reuters.

The plan lays out what it would take to seal the border with fences and walls covering just over 1,250 miles by the end of 2020.

With 654 miles of the border already fortified, the new construction would extend almost the length of the entire border.

The report seen by Reuters is the work of a group commissioned by DHS Secretary John Kelly as a final step before moving forward with requesting US taxpayer funds from Congress and getting started on construction.

A White House spokeswoman was quoted as saying that it would be “premature” to comment on a report that has not officially been presented to the president.

The report assumes DHS would get funding from Congress by April or May, giving the department sufficient time to secure contractors and begin construction by September.

Trump has said Congress should fund the wall upfront, but that Mexico will reimburse US taxpayers. Mexico has said it will not pay.

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RC

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