An internal report by the Department of Homeland Security found that President Trump's proposed wall along the USA southern border would take 3.5 years to complete and would cost as much as $21.6 billion, Reuters reported Thursday.
According to Reuters, the report has not yet been presented to DHS Secretary John Kelly.
After his election victory, Trump quickly backtracked, saying American taxpayers would fund construction of the wall, but Mexico would reimburse the us for the cost.
DHS officials assume in the report that Congress will approve funding for the wall in April or May, and Mexico would eventually reimburse the US, even though its leaders have been adamant about not financing the project.
Read the full report at Reuters.
US President Donald Trump signs an executive order to start the Mexico border wall project at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2017. Addressing county sheriffs at the White House on Wednesday, he said: "The wall is getting designed right now".
According to the report, the first phase would cover 26 miles near San Diego; El Paso, Texas; and a part the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
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Although 654 miles (1,046 km) of border has already been fortified, the new construction would extend to the entire length of the border.
The wall would involve fences and walls covering about 1,250 miles.
The report also revealed that the government is already working with contractors for the project, and is seeking environmental waivers, Reuters reports.
The report assumes that the Department of Homeland Security would get taxpayer funding approved by Congress by April or May, with construction starting in September.
The cost estimate in the leaked report is much higher than previous claims by both Trump and prominent Republican leaders.
He also can not retreat on his repeated insistence that Mexico will pay for the construction, a promise that was largely viewed as a fantasy even before the cost of the construction was revealed to be far higher than Trump originally claimed. However, one thing is certain - Trump's wall will take plenty of time and money to create, and it might not be finished by the time 2020 rolls around.
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