Build The Wall

Current Status: In Progress

As of

As part of the End Illegal Immigration Act:

"Begin working on an impenetrable physical wall on the southern border, on day one. Mexico will pay for the wall."

"Fully-[fund] the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall."

Under the Secure Fence Act of 2006, the United States has already spent $2.4 billion for fencing across nearly one-third of the border (670 miles). It’s unclear if Trump would replace the fence with the wall or supplement the fence with the wall.  Trump told Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes” that he would accept fencing along some of the border, as Republicans in Congress have proposed.

Trump reiterated his signature promise during his "Thank You" tour in December 2016: "Somebody said the other day, well now that trump won, he is really not going to build the wall. I said what are you? We’re going to build the wall, okay? Believe me. We’re going to build the wall. We have to."

In January 2017, Trump signaled to Congress that his preference is to fund the border wall through the appropriations process as soon as April, essentially having the U.S. pay for the wall and expecting Mexico to reimburse; something Mexican leaders have refused to do.

On January 25th, 2017, Trump signed an executive order authorizing construction of a border wall.  

(a) In accordance with existing law, including the Secure Fence Act and IIRIRA, take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border;

(b) Identify and, to the extent permitted by law, allocate all sources of Federal funds for the planning, designing, and constructing of a physical wall along the southern border;

(c) Project and develop long-term funding requirements for the wall, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years

The action would have to be funded by Congress, but Trump says that this will allow the beginning phases of design. The text of the order specifically works within the frameworks of existing laws and directs applicable agencies to allocate all "legally available" resources.

In response to Trump's executive order, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated his country's refusal to pay for the wall in any way.

In February 2017, DHS secretary John Kelly ordered the Customs and Border Patrol to begin the process of designing and building the wall, subject to Congressional budget planning.

The Under Secretary for Management, in consultation with the Commissioner of CBP shall immediately identify and allocate all sources of available funding for the planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads, and develop requirements for total ownership cost of this project, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current fiscal year... and subsequent fiscal years.

In late September 2017, Federal contractors on Tuesday began building prototypes of the wall in San Diego. Meanwhile, plans for the wall in California face several lawsuits due to the Administration's acceleration of the construction process.