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Homeland Security

"I will build a great, great wall
on our southern border, and
I will make Mexico pay for that wall.
Mark my words.”

Donald Trump

Great Wall of Mexico
US-Mexico Border Fence /

Secure Fence

fence at the Tijuana-San Diego borderPresident Donald Trump announced on 15 Feburary 2019 he will declare a national emergency to try to obtain funds for his promised US-Mexico border wall bypassing Congress, a move Democrats vowed to challenge as unconstitutional. "I'm going to be signing a national emergency," Trump said from the Rose Garden of the White House. "We have an invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people and it's unacceptable," he said. The president said he would sign the authorising paperwork later in the day in the Oval Office, freeing Trump to seek to redirect billions of dollars of federal funds. The emergency declaration enables the activation of any of hundreds of dormant powers, which can permit the White House to declare martial law, suspend civil liberties, expand the military, seize property and restrict trade, communications and financial transactions.

fence at the Tijuana-San Diego border The administration asked for $1.6 billion for 2018 to build or replace 74 miles (120 kilometers) of barriers in Texas' Rio Grande Valley and San Diego and planned to request another $1.6 billion for 2019. A proposal by Customs and Border Protection called for spending $18 billion over 10 years to extend barriers to cover nearly half the border. The agency proposed 316 miles (505 kilometers) of additional barrier by September 2027, bringing total coverage to 970 miles (1,552 kilometers). It also sought 407 miles (651 kilometers) of replacement or secondary fencing.

The U.S. House of Representatives closed its summer session 28 July 2017 with a key legislative accomplishment that included a gift for President Donald Trump. House Republicans included a $1.6 billion request to build part of Trumps promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in a “mini-bus” package of bills. “We must be vigilant in protecting our homeland. That’s our priority. This legislation funds the most critical functions of government. It secures our borders by providing funding for a wall on our southern border,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement hailing the passage of border wall funding.

The project is months behind schedule. CBP officials said the winners would be announced in November 2017.

Donald Trump told reporters on Air Force One 13 July 2017 that his previous remark about placing solar panels on his proposed border wall with Mexico was no joke. "We have major companies looking at that," Trump said. "Look, there's no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the Southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good." Because of the presence of natural barriers, Trump said, the solar wall would need to span only 700 to 900 miles (1,125 to 1,450 kilometers) to be effective in halting illegal migration.

Trump told reporters on Air Force One that only 700 to 900 miles of wall may be needed. About 650 miles of the 2,000-mile long border already has some type of physical barrier. The remaining miles will be guarded by topography, the president said. “You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing,” he said. He also opined that the wall should be see-through, ie, a fence, not a wall. Border patrol agents needed to be able to spot threats on the other side and avoid any “large sacks of drugs” thrown over the top.

Executive Order 13767 directed the Government to build a border wall with Mexico. The entire U.S.-Mexico border covers 3,200 kilometers, over a variety of terrain, from California, through Arizona and New Mexico and ending in southern Texas. More than 1,100 kilometers of that stretch already is fenced, but nowhere is the barrier as massive as the wall described in the new plan.

On March 17, 2017 the US Customs and Border Protection released two Requests for Proposal to award multiple contracts and initial task orders for the design and construction of wall prototypes. The Presidential Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, states that “the Secretary shall take steps to immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.”

The US government planned to start awarding preliminary contracts by April 2017 for construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border, to fulfill one of President Donald Trump’s principal campaign promises. US Customs and Border Protection said it will accept "concept papers" for the wall’s design and choose the best ones by 20 March 2017. The agency will then ask vendors for construction cost estimates and, after reviewing their bids, begin granting contracts by mid-April — a remarkably quick schedule for a government construction project.

Trump said the wall will cost $12 billion, while Republican leaders in Congress have pegged its cost 20 percent higher than that. An internal Homeland Security report forecast the total cost could be as much as $21.6 billion.

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