A whole $18 billion, in fact
Donald Trump is a man of too many words, most of which should be ignored. However, on Friday another of his hypocrisies came to light when it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that his administration is seeking nearly $18bn (£13bn) from Congress over the next decade to start extending and reinforcing America’s infamous border wall with Mexico.
This is despite Trump’s ongoing squawks throughout his campaign of “Mexico will pay for the wall!”, and later, “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!”
Mexico has always responded by saying that they will not be shelling out money for the border: there has never been a deal between the countries and after meeting Trump in September 2016 Enrique Pena Nieto said, “I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall”.
This didn’t stop Trump from continuing to bray and a former Mexican president even descended into expletives in January 2017, presumably after becoming as frustrated with Trump’s lies as the rest of us. “Sean Spicer, I’ve said this to Donald Trump and now I’ll tell you: Mexico is not going to pay for that f***ing wall,” tweeted Vicente Fox Quesada.
Mexico will pay for the wall!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2016
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Last year, CNN reported that the president-elect was hoping to use US taxpayer money on the wall’s estimated $25 billion construction, and while that figure has reduced somewhat, the plans the government has in place for the wall mean the $18bn will go toward funding 316 miles of new barriers across the Mexico-US border and bolster 407 miles of existing barriers. Overall it would mean that more than half of the 2,000-mile border would have a wall or barrier.
The request is feared to shut down government. It also comes during a period where a battle between Republicans and Democrats over the immigration status of young undocumented immigrants, known as ‘Dreamers’, is intensifying. There are 690,000 immigrants who will be losing work permits and deportation protection after Trump decided to end Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.