President Donald Trump has been issuing Executive Orders left and right in his first five days in office, including one on Wednesday that deals with border security.
In this Executive Order is an issue to build a wall along the United States-Mexico border, one of Trump’s most talked-about and controversial policy ideas.
Here is what the E.O. says:
“It is the policy of the executive branch to: secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking and acts of terrorism.”
It later goes on to say:
“The Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall immediately take the following steps to obtain complete operational control, as determined by the Secretary, of the southern border: In accordance with existing law…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.”
“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.”
“Project and develop long-term funding requirements for the wall, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years.”
The Executive Order also calls for a comprehensive study of security along the border, create detention facilities and provide for additional Border Patrol agents.
As Trump told Department of Homeland Security employees, “Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” according to CNN.
During a press briefing this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer added that the Trump Administration is working with agency officials and Congress on this matter, with no other details given.
While this may be a welcome action for those who supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election and were expecting him to follow through on his campaign promises, it doesn’t change the fact that there are still many unanswered questions and logistical challenges, the biggest ones being how much the wall will cost and who will pay for it.
During the election, Trump constantly boasted that Mexico would be paying for the wall, something that officials in that country rejected. He eventually changed the wording of his stance and said the United States would pay for the wall and then Mexico will pay the U.S. back, which still doesn’t change the situation.
Based on this most recent stance, U.S. taxpayers will be footing the bill at first, until a supposed financial transaction takes place. But what if Mexico continues to refuse to pay the United States? If construction has already started by that point, then taxpayers will likely end up paying for the entire wall, since Trump can’t force Mexico to reimburse the United States–unless a deal is ultimately made through negotiations, of course.
Assuming Trump is able to go through with this, though, how soon will construction begin? Trump told ABC News’ David Muir that it will happen in a matter of months: “As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it. I would say in months, yeah. I would say in months. Certainly, planning is starting immediately.”
You can watch an excerpt from this interview below:
Photo Source: ABC News