Sunday, February 12, 2017

Trump's Wall Will Cost Much More Than He Claims It Will

(Cartoon image is by Lalo Alcaraz at

Donald Trump still wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. He has claimed that wall will cost about $12 billion (or about $9.5 million for each mile). Congressional Republicans have estimated the cost to be about $15 billion (or about $11.9 million per mile). Both are below what the wall will really cost.

The Department of Homeland Security commissioned a survey to determine what the wall will cost. Reuters has obtained a copy of that report, and the estimate to build the wall is about $21.6 billion (or about $17 million per mile). And it could be even more, since the report didn't consider some things (like the difficulty of building in mountainous areas).

I think we have to ask -- with our huge national debt, and Trump wanting massive new tax cuts for the rich and corporations, can we afford this boondoggle? Is it even necessary, since net immigration of undocumented immigrants is currently about zero (meaning as many are leaving as are entering)?

Here is some of the Reuters article written by Julia Edwards Ainsley:

President Donald Trump’s “wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border would be a series of fences and walls that would cost as much as $21.6 billion, and take more than three years to construct, based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters on Thursday.
The report’s estimated price-tag is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The report is expected to be presented to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly in coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take actions it recommends.
The plan lays out what it would take to seal the border in three phases of construction of fences and walls covering just over 1,250 miles (2,000 km) by the end of 2020.
With 654 miles (1,046 km) of the border already fortified, the new construction would extend almost the length of the entire border.

Many cost estimates and timelines have been floated since Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall. The report seen by Reuters is the work of a group commissioned by Kelly as a final step before moving forward with requesting U.S. taxpayer funds from Congress and getting started on construction. . . .
The report said the first phase would be the smallest, targeting sections covering 26 miles (42 km) near San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and in Texas's Rio Grande Valley. . . .
The second phase of construction proposed in the report would cover 151 miles (242 km) of border in and around the Rio Grande Valley; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Big Bend, Texas. The third phase would cover an unspecified 1,080 miles (1,728 km), essentially sealing off the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

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