Trump asks for $1b for first 62 miles of his border wall

by Itunuoluwa Adebo

The Trump administration wants the first $1 billion of border wall funding to cover 62 miles including the replacement of existing fencing along the southern border.

The $999 million the White House requested in its budget supplement for just defense and border security spending would cover only 48 miles of new wall, according to justification documents from the Department of Homeland Security according to CNN reports.

The documents explain exactly how the administration hopes to use its first installment of the border wall, as it described its modest 2017 funding ask. The money will fund 14 miles of new border wall in San Diego, 28 miles of new levee wall barriers and six miles of new border wall in the Rio Grande Valley region and 14 miles of replacement fencing in San Diego.

President Donald Trump centered his presidential campaign on building a border along the entire US Southern, and repeatedly pledged Mexico would pay for it, but the initial ask for funds to start building has been modest. The administration requested $1 billion in its supplemental for 2017, and another $2.6 billion for border infrastructure and technology in 2018.

The estimates for a full wall along the Southern border range from $12 billion to more than $20 billion. The budget request documents also point to the Trump administration looking to ramp up border security elsewhere, specifying millions to bolster detention facilities and legal support for building the wall.

The documents also claim that Trump’s executive orders on immigration enforcement are already having an effect, saying arrests are up 50%, charges are up 40% and requests to detain arrested individuals who are deportable are up 80%. When asked, ICE did not have information on what the administration is using as a baseline.


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