Brick by brick: Donald J. Trump begins plans on promised wall


A small fence separates densely populated Tijuana, Mexico, right, from the United States in the Border Patrol’s San Diego Sector. Construction is underway to extend a secondary fence over the top of this hill and eventually to the Pacific Ocean.

Brenda Avila

During Donald J.Trump’s presidential campaign, one of his major promises was to build a wall on the Mexican-American border in an effort to prevent immigrants from crossing illegally via the border. Now that promise is coming into action. Signing an executive order for the construction of the border wall during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security on January 25, 2017, changes in the United States have already taken place.


On January 25, 2017, during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and increasing border patrol by five thousand agents. The order noting that the number of agents were subject to change depending on Congressional funding towards border patrol. Thus, the amount of funding border patrol receives from Congress will determine the number of agents stationed at the border.


Due to the Secure Fence Law of 2006, the law allows Trump to build a wall along the Mexican-American border. The wall will cost between eight billion and twenty five billion dollars. Trump has said that initially the wall would be paid for by taxpayers, but the government would be reimbursed by the Mexican government on a later set date. Although the Mexican government has denied in taking any part in the construction of the wall. As reported by The Guardian, during an interview with ABC News,Trump said that planning for the construction of the wall has begun, but the actual wall itself will not be built until the next couple of months. Construction of the wall estimated to cover 1000 miles out of the 1900 total miles of the border, with 650 miles of the wall already existing wall. The rest of the border has natural obstacles, particularly the Rio Grande.


According to The Hill, Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of the Economy, said that if the United States demanded a payment for the wall from Mexico, then Mexico will withdraw from negotiations of the North American Free Trade Act.


Trump has said that the wall will be beneficial to the United States, as well as Mexico, by deterring illegal immigrants from crossing illegally from counties further south through Mexico and disrupting dangerous drug cartels. Facts have contradicted the president’s statement and more immigrants are leaving the country rather than entering the country. According to Pew Research Center from 2009 to 2014, one million Mexicans have left the country for Mexico, in comparison to an estimated 870,000 Mexicans leaving Mexico to come to the U.S.


Originally stating during his campaign that the wall would be funded by impounding or taxing 20% of money sent to relatives in Mexico.  Critics had cited it would be difficult to practically impossible, legally, to single out remittances sent to Mexico to those going to other countries.
Opposition from both Democrats and some Republicans for Trump’s plan to construct a wall began when he announced his run for presidency in June 2015.  Some politicians stated that the wall was unnecessary. “It is not national security policy. Border communities are among the safest in the nation and patrolling them with tens of thousands of heavily armed, poorly trained, unaccountable agents puts lives at risk. This will turn these communities into de facto military zones,” Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition immigrant advocacy group.