A report completed by the Department of Homeland Security and leaked to the Reuters news agency on Thursday, pegs the cost of extending the existing barrier along the southern border at $21.6 billion, nearly double the $12 billion figure that Trump floated during his presidential campaign.
The cost put forth in the DHS report is much higher than estimates by Trump and GOP congressional leaders, including House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanThe world is safer because of the Iran deal.
Around the same time, Bloomberg News reported that an Israeli security company that helped construct the country's West Bank barrier about a decade ago is now reportedly seeking to build the US-Mexico border wall for the Trump administration.
The timeline is based on an assumption that Congress will approve funding by May and that Homeland Security will be able to secure contractors and purchase parts of the border which cross privately owned land, in time for a September 2017 start date.
The document also revealed that the USA government has begun to coordinate with existing contractors, plan for steel purchases and seek waivers for environmental laws.
No wonder President Trump wants Mexico to pay for it.
The third phase would cover the remaining 1,080 miles. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeatedly said that his country will not pay.
The document details a plan composed of 3 phases where the construction can begin along the 1,250 miles long border, and the challenges facing the construction, along with the cost estimate. It's also well above the $12 billion figure quoted by Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Mr Trump told law enforcement officials this week: "The wall is getting designed right now".
Reuters quoted a source within DHS saying that the Trump administration would likely need to seize hundreds of miles of the privately-owned borderland from USA citizens under eminent domain in order to embark on the final phase.
The first phase, estimated to cost only $360 million, could be a relatively easy way for Trump to satisfy supporters eager to see him make good on his campaign promises to limit illegal migration. While the first phase will be relatively low-cost, at some $360 million, each successive addition will require the United States government to acquire the land via eminent domain as well as through environmental waivers.
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