President Trump presses Congress for $18 billion to build border wall

Saturday, 06 Jan, 2018

This, combined with the existing 654 miles of fencing between the United States and Mexico would result in 970 miles of the 2,000-mile border.

According to a document obtained by The Wall Street Journal, Trump is asking Congress for almost $18 billion to fund his border wall expansion project. Dick Durbin said in a statement.

The White House has demanded that border security be included in the legislation. Congress has not passed the spending bills for 2018, and wall funding is one of the hang-ups.

The non-wall requests include $5.7 billion over five years for towers, surveillance equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles and other technology; $1 billion over five years for road construction and maintenance, and $8.5 billion over seven years for 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and other personnel.

President Trump presses Congress for $18 billion to build border wall

Back in September, Mr. Trump ended the DACA program put in place by President Barack Obama, which allowed young people brought into the country illegally to stay in the USA for several years, without the threat of deportation.

"Effective border security will not be successful unless we close risky legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration and visa overstays", wrote Benjamin Cassidy, a top legislative affairs official in the Department of Homeland Security, in a letter to Durbin. He made the comment as he sat down Thursday with Republican senators to talk about immigration.

If they cannot reach a deal, the government could be forced into a partial shutdown nearly a year to the day after Trump was sworn into office. Republicans are deeply concerned that their majorities in the House and Senate may be in jeopardy. And he wants to do away with the diversity visa lottery, a State Department program that admits immigrants from countries that do not send many people to the United States. Trump says he will not sign a fix granting "amnesty" to DACA recipients without action to secure the border first.