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International

First phase of Trump border wall gets $18 billion price tag, in new request to lawmakers

15:55, Saturday, 06 January, 2018
First phase of Trump border wall gets $18 billion price tag, in new request to lawmakers

The Trump administration has told lawmakers that it wants $18 billion over the next decade for the initial phase of a Mexico border wall, laying out for the first time a detailed financial blueprint for the president’s signature campaign promise.

The money would pay for 316 miles of new fencing and reinforce another 407 miles where barriers are already in place, according to cost estimates sent to senators Friday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If the work was completed, more than half of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico would have a wall or other physical structure by 2027.

Democratic lawmakers blasted the $18 billion request, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, and it arrived in the middle of delicate budget negotiations that include the risk of a government shutdown Jan. 20 if no deal is reached.

“President Trump has said he may need a good government shutdown to get his wall. With this demand, he seems to be heading in that direction,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Immigration subcommittee.

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