President Donald Trump is working to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The Trump administration has asked Congress for nearly $18 billion over the next 10 years to build new and replacement barriers along the southwest border, Fox News reported.
The proposal was created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and seeks to extend the barrier to 970 miles, nearly half of the distance of the border, by 2027.
This budget will create 316 miles of new wall, and 407 miles of replacement fencing, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.
The request provides insight into how Trump plans to fulfill his campaign promise to build “a big, beautiful wall.”
The ten year plan was first described to The Wall Street Journal and was in direct response to questions by senators of what it would take to secure the border. U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake requested the border security plan, his spokesman Jason Samuels said, according to the AP.
The Trump administration has asked for $1.6 billion to build or replace 74 miles of fencing this year in Texas and California, and $1.6 billion next year, the AP reported.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the AP earlier this week that the wall would be “first and foremost” in any immigration package.
The $3.2 billion request should be viewed as a “down payment,” Nielsen said.
“This is not going to get us the whole wall we need, but it’s a start.”
$33 billion has been requested in total for new border spending. $18 billion will be allotted fro the wall, $5.7 billion for technology, $1 billion for road construction and maintenance and $8.5 billion for personnel, according to the AP.
Trump issued an executive order to hire on 5,000 new agents last January and is still working to follow through on his promise while adding to the progress border security made last year.
The Department of Homeland Security’s most recent statistics show that illegal border crossings are down 24 percent, the lowest level in four decades, according to Fox News.
Border patrol agents reportedly made 310,531 arrests during the 2017 fiscal year.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto rejected Trump’s border wall plan in January of 2017.
“I regret and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that, that for years, far from uniting us, divides us,” he said, according to ABC News.
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