President-elect Donald Trump made building a wall, paid for by the US neighbour, a central campaign pledge. The businessman sparked a storm of disapproval in 2015 when he said Mexico was sending criminals and rapists north to the US through a porous border.
“We’re going to get reimbursed,” Mr. Trump said during a brief telephone interview. “But I don’t want to wait that long. But you start, and then you get reimbursed.”
Mr Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, insisted on Friday morning that the plan to seek reimbursement from Mexico after paying US money up-front “doesn’t mean he’s broken his promise”.
“I think he’s going to continue to talk to them (the Mexican government) about that,” he told ABC News.
Congressional Republicans confirmed they have the legal authorisation to build the wall under the Secure Fence Act passed by former president George W Bush in 2006. Trump’s team signalled to congressional house leaders that they would like to fund the US-Mexico border through the appropriations process in April, House Republican officials revealed. Building a wall to keep out unauthorized immigrants could also face intense opposition from a bipartisan coalition in Congress that argues that a vast barrier along the border would be ineffective in stopping people who are determined to enter the country illegally and would represent a symbolic affront to the idea that the United States is a welcoming country that embraces immigration.
The full cost of a wall as described by Mr. Trump could be enormous. Attaching such a charged issue to annual, mandatory government funding measures could instigate a risky political fight. Those who want to block money for the wall by holding up the bills could find themselves accused of shutting down the government. he Government Accountability Office has estimated it could cost $6.5 million per mile to build a single-layer fence, with an additional $4.2 million per mile for roads and more fencing, according to congressional officials. Those estimates do not include maintenance of the fence along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
At a rally in August in Phoenix, hours after meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, Mr. Trump vowed that America’s southern neighbor would bear the financial burden of securing the border.
“Mexico will pay for the wall, believe me — 100 percent — they don’t know it yet, but they will pay for the wall,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re great people, and great leaders, but they will pay for the wall.”
In a Twitter post on Friday, Mr. Trump mocked news reports about the possible taxpayer funding of the border barrier, suggesting that Mexico would be forced to reimburse the American government for any costs incurred in building the wall.
“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!” he wrote early Friday.
On June 16,2016 the day Trump announced that he was running for president he said:
”I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. The height would be “35 to 45 feet” .