Scepticism over Trump's 'wall' cost simmers among Democrats, border Republican

Trump says he was not kidding about Mexico wall, it is 'getting designed right now'
Trump's proposed US-Mexico border wall to cost $21 billion: Report

13 February, 2017

In the internal government study, the US Department of Homeland Security said the contentious border barrier would take more than three years to build and the price could soar much higher than the $12-15 billion figure cited by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan last month.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is set to receive the report in the coming days, according to Reuters.

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. The DHS report suggests the wall could be built in phases, starting with small sections near San Diego, California and parts of Texas covering a total of 26 miles. Trump has said Congress should fund the wall upfront, but that Mexico will reimburse USA taxpayers.

The report commissioned by Mr Kelly is a final step before requesting taxpayer funds from Congress and getting started with the construction.

Pena Nieto responded in his own tweet that "Mexico offers and demands respect, as a the sovereign Nation that we are", and added, "I've said it many times before - Mexico will not pay for this wall".

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.

NZ win toss in ODI, Brownlie named
Australia's stand-in captain Aaron Finch top-scored for the visitors with 56 while Travis Head made 53 and Marcus Stoinis 42. Australia started their chase well, only to lose two wickets in the eighth over.

As per the report, the second phase would cover a length of 151 miles (242 km) near Rio Grande Valley, Texas; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Big Bend, Texas.

This border wall, if built (at US taxpayer expense), will probably have a lot in common with the 600 miles of barriers along the southern border already built under the 2006 Secure Fence Act.

The company said afterwards it would trim costs for the next batch of planes, announcing $728 million in savings, although most of the price cuts were already planned ahead of Trump's involvement during a months-long contract negotiation.

It also says the American government have sought waivers to address environmental laws on building in some areas, as well as working with existing contractors to plan steel purchases.

The report estimates that the first phase would cost just $360 million, a relatively easy way for Trump to make good on his campaign pledge to limit illegal migration.

Trump, however, continues to express certainty about the wall, saying Wednesday: "I wasn't kidding".

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