Trump To Order U.S.-Mexican Wall Construction
US President Donald Trump is set to take a first step toward enacting his pledge to "build a wall" on the Mexican border as he rolls out a series of immigration-related decrees today.
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The White House said that Trump will make the announcements in a visit to the Department of Homeland Security today.
"Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!" Trump tweeted late Tuesday.
Trump will also sign a measure targeting "sanctuary" cities where local officials refuse to help round up people for deportation, The Washington Post reported.
CNN said he also plans to expand the number of customs and border agents.
Stemming immigration was a central plank of Trump's election campaign and his signature policy was to build a wall across the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) border between the United States and Mexico.
Some of the border is already fenced, but Trump says a wall is needed to stop illegal immigrants entering from Latin America.
Experts have voiced doubts about whether a wall would actually stem illegal immigration, or if it is worth spending billions on a wall when there are cheaper methods, such as electronic surveillance, of achieving similar results.
But a border wall has become a clarion call for the US right and far-right, the core of Trump's support.
Still, any action from the White House would be piecemeal, diverting only existing funds toward the project.
The Economics of Trump's Mexico Wall
Key figures and costs estimates for the proposed Mexio-U.S. border wall
U.S. President Donald Trump wants to make his campaign promise of building a wall on the Mexico-U.S. border come true. This would be a rather costly exercise, with unknown chances of succeeding in its primary goal of fending off unwanted immigrants to America.
Mr. Trump has insisted that Mexico should carry the cost for the construction of the wall. Mexico's president, Enrique Pena Nieto, insists otherwise. About a third of the Mexico-U.S. border is already covered by various types of fences.
The Republican-controlled Congress would need to supply new money if the wall is to be anywhere near completed, and Trump's party has spent decades preaching fiscal prudence.
Furthermore, much of the land needed to build the wall is privately owned, implying lengthy legal proceedings, political blowback, and substantial expropriation payments.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly even told his confirmation hearing that the border wall might not "be built anytime soon."
Make "Mexico pay"?
Trump had promised to make "Mexico pay" for the wall, something that the Mexican government has repeatedly said it will not do.
Trump aides have weighed increasing border tariffs or border transit costs as one way to "make Mexico pay." Another threat is to finance the wall by tapping into remittances that Mexican migrants sent home, which last year amounted to $25 billion.
"There are very clear red lines that must be drawn from the start," Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told the Televisa network in Mexico just ahead of the trip.
Asked whether the Mexico would walk away from talks if the wall and remittances are an issue, Guajardo said: "Absolutely."
Trump also wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, warning last week that he would abandon the pact unless the United States gets "a fair deal."
Mexico has said it is willing to "modernize" the pact, which came into force in 1994 and represents $531 billion in annual trade between Mexico and the United States.
Some 80 percent of Mexico's exports go to the US market.
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