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January 5, 2018

Policy Summary

On Friday, January 5, the Trump Administration announced that it would be seeking $18 billion from Congress over the next ten years for border wall construction. This price tag is estimated to cover an additional 316 miles of new fencing and reinforce another 407 miles with barriers already in place, according to the Washington Post. Should Congress approve this request and the construction is complete, nearly half of the US-Mexico border will be separated by “the wall” by 2027. The $18 billion cost of construction, which is estimated by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), does not include additional costs for personnel training, border technology, and building access to roads, bringing the total cost of border construction and maintenance to $33 billion. Other agencies within the Department of Homeland Security are also expected to request funding for wall construction, which is not included in the aforementioned estimate.

Analysis

Trump’s wall, and more generally—a total crackdown on immigration—is perhaps the largest and most central promise to his isolationist campaign. The CBP funding proposal is a crucial, concrete (literally) step in realizing the actual construction of said wall following prototype construction that broke ground in late September of 2017. Though Mexicans will not be funding the construction of the wall, the follow-throughs that Trump has made thus far demonstrate that he is not “all talk” when it comes to even his most ridiculous, outlandish, and dangerous ideas. While Democratic members of Congress, and even a few Republicans, are unwaveringly against constructing and funding a border wall, it is too soon to be dismissive of the possibility that the wall’s construction could be actualized until Congress sets forth the fiscal budgetary levels for Fiscal Years 2019-2027.

Engagement Resources

  • Act with America’s Voice: America’s Voice is a progressive immigration reform nonprofit that advocates for full and equal rights of all immigrants. The organization runs numerous campaigns, maps incidents of hate against people of color, and assists with voter registration, amongst other activities essential to promoting equity for immigrant lives in the United States. You can make a contribution to America’s Voice here.
  • Support Alliance San Diego: Alliance SD is nonprofit responsible for creating the Souther Border Communities Coalition (see below) and organizes other coalitions to promote justice and social change in San Diego. You can support Alliance SD through making a contribution, volunteering with the organization, or attending an Alliance SD event.
  • Stay Up to Date with Southern Border Communities Coalition: SBCC formed in 2011 and has brought over 60 organizations together to ensure fair border enforcement, promote policy, and solutions improving quality of life in border regions, and support humane immigration reform. Follow the SBCC Newsroom for updates on information pertaining to the border wall and its impact on communities in proximity to the border.

This brief was compiled by Allie Blum. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief please contact allie@usresistnews.org.


 

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