WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump is one step closer to fulfilling one of his most famous campaign promises…the building of a wall to separate the U.S. from Mexico.
The House Appropriations Committee this week approved $1.6 billion in funds to be allocated toward construction of the southern border wall.
“Keeping Americans safe by protecting our homeland is a top priority. This funding bill provides the resources to begin building a wall along our southern border, enhance our existing border security infrastructure, hire more border patrol agents, and fund detention operations,” House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman John Carter said in a statement.
“Additionally, this bill will increase funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, support grants in cases of emergency and natural disaster, and provide critical resources to protect our cyber networks,” the statement continued.
The building of a wall to separate the United States from Mexico was an issue that proved central to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Since his inauguration in January, the Trump administration has cracked down on illegal immigration, calling it a matter of “justice and safety for the American people”.
“It will secure the border & save lives. Now the full House & Senate must act!” Trump said upon hearing the news that the funds had been approved.
In addition to securing the wall, Trump campaigned heavily on his promise to make Mexico pay for it. He made headlines last week while reiterating that pledge as he sat next to Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto while attending the G20 Summit.
“It’s great to be with my friend the president of Mexico, and we’re negotiating NAFTA and some other things with Mexico and we’ll see how it all turns out, but I think we’ve made really good progress so it’s great to be with you,” Trump said shaking hands with Nieto. When asked by a reporter, “Mr. Trump, do you still want Mexico to pay for the wall?”, Trump turned to the Mexican leader and replied, “Absolutely.”
Although Mexico has publicly refused to do any such thing, Trump says he will force the southern nation to do so by cutting off funding, which many economists say is vital for Mexico’s struggling economy.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico,” Trump said of his plans, which he released earlier this year (https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/politics/memo-explains-how-donald-trump-plans-to-pay-for-border-wall/2007/?tid=a_inl).
According to estimates, (http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/design-build-structure.pdf) the wall expected to stretch over one thousand miles across the U.S. southern border.