When asked about the status of his promised wall to protect the length of the United States-Mexico border, President Donald Trump insisted that construction could very well be under way in just months.
In a recent interview with ABC News’ David Muir, Trump indicated that workers will begin erecting the highly debated wall once the materials and other details regarding the construction are ready to go.
Payment in pesos?
Pressed about the finances behind the colossal endeavor, the new commander-in-chief assured – with 100-percent confidence -- that Mexico will indeed reimburse the United States for its border investment. This means that until the Mexican government foots the bill for the wall, American taxpayers will pick up the tab, but Trump insisted that Mexico’s future payment is just a matter of time.
Trump’s guarantee of an impending payment from south of the border prompted Muir to resurface Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s proclamation that his country would not pay a dime toward construction of the border wall because it attacks the “dignity” of the Mexican people.
According to The Hill, Trump indicated that Nieto had to respond the way he did regarding the wall, but the Washington daily followed up by noting that the president was confident that some payment would be received from Mexico.
Using the same social media medium often utilized by Trump, ABC News announced Trump’s aggressive plans to move forward with the wall in the early stages of his presidency.
“JUST IN: President Trump tells @ABC News: Construction of border wall will begin ‘in months,’” ABC News tweeted Tuesday.
When pressed on specifics, Trump offered a general assurance that money would be received by the Mexican government in some form at some time in the future.
"I'm just telling you there will be a payment,” Trump disclosed to Muir.
Muir proceeded by asking the president for a specific date or window when the building of the massive project would be underway, but Trump would not commit to specifics.
“As soon as we can,” the new occupier of the White House responded. “As soon as we can physically do it.”
Not giving up, the interviewer asked the president if he could at least give Americans a timeline regarding his plans for the border wall.
“I would say in months,” Trump finally gave in. “Certainly planning is starting immediately."
A long way to go in a short time
Even though a partial barrier spanning hundreds of miles between the U.S. and Mexico already exists, more than half of the physical boundary between the two nations remains open.
“More than 650 miles of walls, fences and other barriers already stand along the 2,000-mile southern border,” Townhall reported.
The cost of the wall has recently been a hot-button issue, but many advocates of its construction point to the untold billions of dollars the American economy loses yearly due to illegal immigration from the south – from lost jobs, to crime, to medical costs, to education spending and other government benefits.
In order for the wall to extend from south of San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, billions of dollars must be invested … money that many Republicans believe will be worth every dime – whether Mexico reimburses the U.S. or not.
“Independent estimates peg the cost of completing the physical barrier at between $15 billion and $25 billion,” Townhall’s Matt Vespa informed. “While existing legislation authorizes the construction of border fencing, he would likely need to ask Congress for more money.”
Putting his pen into action just days after assuming his seat behind the desk of the Oval Office, Trump took some action steps to ensure that the border wall – along with increased border security – is more than just another presidential campaign promise – but an imminent reality.
“[Tuesday], the president signed two executive orders that cleared way for the construction of the wall, the hiring of 5,000 additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel, more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and a return to enforcing federal immigration laws,” Vespa announced. “The orders also targeted sanctuary cities.”