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Trump to Visit Border Today, Updates on the Wall

by Countable | 8.22.17

What's the story?

Before his controversial rally in Phoenix later tonight, Donald Trump will be in Yuma, AZ, for a tour of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border station. During the rally, Trump is expected to push funding for his border wall with Mexico.

While Trump visits Arizona, Countable thought it would be a good time to revisit some of the recent developments in the President’s quest to "build that wall!"

  • The House recently approved a spending bill that included $1.6 billion towards building Trump’s "big beautiful wall with Mexico." The bill, however, stalled in the Senate. Republicans need the support of Democrat to pass a spending bill. Which is why…

  • Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News this morning, in anticipation of Trump’s rally, "We want to build a wall and have internal enforcement and border security. Illegal immigration at our southern border is down now more than 60 percent. And that's the result of the leadership that President Trump has been providing. But we need Congress to continue to support those efforts."

  • Initially, Trump wanted to build the wall along all 1,989 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Most recently, Trump halved the length to 1,000 miles, and said the wall will be built of "really hard" concrete, rebar and steel. At various other times, Trump has also said he wants the wall to be “see through,” contain “solar panels” and be 50 feet tall.

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has estimated the wall will take three years to build and cost $21 billion dollars.

  • The planned wall would damage sacred Native American burial grounds.

  • DHS is building border wall prototypes near San Diego. To pull it off, they’re using the broad authority granted by Congress to waive a host of environmental and land management laws.

  • Mexico, despite Trump’s statement to the contrary, has said it won’t pay for the wall. In a leaked conversation with Enrique Peña Nieto, the Mexican President told Trump, "I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall." During the conversation, Trump said, “From an economic issue, [the wall] is the least important thing we were talking about” but “psychologically, it means something.”

  • Those on this side of the wall have also expressed doubts: In April, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated, "There will never be a 2,200-mile wall built, period...I think it’s become symbolic of better border security. It’s a code word for better border security. If you make it about actually building a 2,200-mile wall, that’s a bridge too far—but I’m mixing my metaphors."

  • In March, Democrats introduced the "No Taxpayer Funding for the Wall Act." It’s awaiting a hearing. There’s also been the “Build Bridges Not Walls Act.”

  • On the other side of the aisle, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sponsored the EL CHAPO Act, which would reserve any illegally obtained drug profits forfeited by El Chapo, and other convicted members of drug cartels, towards the building the border wall.

What do you think?

Do we need a border wall? And if we do, would you like to see it built with Trump’s specifications? Should your reps vote for the budget request? Hit the Take Action button and let them know, then let your fellow citizens know below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Josh Herman)

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