Donald Trump proposes spending nearly $1 billion to build 50 miles of his border wall

Trump is proposing to spend a lot of money on the first small phase of the wall — plus a few miles of fencing

Published March 28, 2017 12:33PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Last month, a preliminary Department of Homeland Security report found that President Donald Trump's proposed border wall could cost as much as $21.6 billion and span for over 1,200 miles. Now that the Trump administration has to request actual funds, though, it turns out that they're asking for much less money — and suggesting building a much, much smaller wall.

The White House's defense and border security spending budget supplement is requesting $999 million to build 48 miles of new wall, according to DHS justification documents reported by CNN. In addition, the money would also fund 14 miles of replacement fencing in San Diego. This would be on top of 14 miles of new wall construction in San Diego, 28 miles of new levee wall barriers in the Rio Grande Valley region, and six miles of new border wall also in the Rio Grande Valley region.

In addition to wall construction, the budgetary documents would also increase spending on detention facilities and legal support when it comes to the wall construction process.

Although Trump promised throughout his campaign that he would force Mexico to pay for the wall, the Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has already made it clear that he will not pay for the proposed border barrier.

During his testimony before Congress in February, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly admitted that "we're not going to be able to build a wall everywhere all at once." He also said that, while he couldn't give specifics regarding a timetable or final budget, "I'd like to see we'd be well underway in two years. This is going to take some time, but there's places I think we can right away get at this problem."
So much for "aesthetically pleasing."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Us-mexico Border Wall