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Trump seeks $33bn to secure US-Mexico border

January 06
10:31 2018

Washington, Jan 6 (IANS) President Donald Trump’s administration has asked Congress for $33 billion to secure the US-Mexico border of which $18 billion will be spent on the border wall, the media reported.

According to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) document that was sent to lawmakers on Friday night, the remaining $15 billion would cover technology, personnel and readiness, reports CNN.

Titled “Critical CBP Requirements to Improve Border Security”, the document says the agency has identified what a 2,026-mile border wall system would entail — about 864 miles of new wall and about 1,163 miles of replacement or secondary wall.

It said the $18 billion investment will cover 722 miles of border wall — about 316 new miles of primary structure and about 407 miles of replacement and secondary wall.

The administration does not envision the investment happening all at once, laying out the investment costs over 10 years, breaking down the totals desired per year.

The fiscal year 2018 request would have 60 miles of primary wall and 14 miles of secondary wall to the tune of $1.6 billion.

Congress is yet to agree to appropriate any of the administration’s requested funds for a border wall, reports CNN.

The fiscal year 2017 omnibus budget package passed by Congress last year required a comprehensive plan from CBP on securing the border, which was due in August but had not been delivered before Thursday.

Members of Congress, including Senate Republican Whip and Texan John Cornyn, have called on the administration to present a coherent border strategy as opposed to individual yearly requests for border funds.

An administration official told CNN that the budget estimate “only covers one aspect — the border security needs — of the President’s previously stated immigration policy priorities and was delivered to the Hill to meet a specific request from negotiating team members.

“The border wall needs to be fully funded by Congress but the other priorities, such as improved immigration enforcement measures and a merit-based immigration system, must also be part of the larger immigration reform package.”

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