Border wall prototypes in San Diego, California, will receive a visit from President Donald Trump at the end of the month as the president continues to push for increased border security between the U.S. and Mexico.
Trump will reportedly make his visit after his “State of the Union” address on Jan. 30, according to Axios.
“The wall is bigger than a policy proposal — it’s a symbol,” a source close to Trump said. “Ending chain migration may be more impactful policy, but he understands the power of the wall as a concept and in terms of the way he and his presidency will be perceived and judged.”
On Sunday, Trump tweeted about his “Great meetings with the cabinet and Military” that touched on subjects including the border wall and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The wall’s initial phase, which will cost $18 billion over the next decade, will feature 316 miles of brand-new fencing while 407 miles of reinforcement fencing will be added to pre-existing barriers.
The proposal put forth by U.S. Customs and Border Protection also requested $8 billion in personnel training, $1 billion to build new access roads and $5 billion for new technology at the border, according to The Washington Post.
The final price tag registers over $33 billion, as noted by The Post, and is the first time that a specific dollar amount has been officially proposed.
Democrats reportedly panned the proposal and are now planning on using their leverage in financial negotiations to force the GOP to agree to a bi-partisan deal to uphold the Obama-era DACA program.
However, Trump has made it clear to Democrats that unless his wall gets funded he will be unwilling to reach a deal on the DACA program.
During a Saturday media conference at Camp David, Trump stated that Mexico’s government must foot the bill for the border wall.
“I believe Mexico will pay for the wall,” Trump said. “I have a very good relationship with Mexico … Mexico will pay, in some form, Mexico will pay for the wall.”
Back in October, the president tweeted a video of the prototype walls being constructed along the border between San Diego and Tijuana with the caption, “BORDER WALL prototypes underway!”
Six companies were contracted to build eight total prototypes of the wall: Alabama-based Caddell Construction, Fisher Sand & Gravel and KWR Construction (both based in Arizona), ELTA North America (Maryland), Texas Sterling Construction and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction (Mississippi).
The BBC reported in September that four walls would be made using concrete while the others would be created using alternative materials.
A Customs Border Patrol official who wished to remain anonymous due to not being authorized to speak publicly about the project told The Washington Post in October, “This is a very unique project.”
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