White House seeks $18 billion for border wall with Mexico


Washington, Jan 6: The US government is asking the Congress for nearly $18 billion in a decade to expand the current US border wall with Mexico to nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 km), it was revealed on Friday.

The current barrier along the US-Mexico border is 654 miles (1,000 km) long. The new request, if granted, will bring more than 700 miles (1,140 km) of new and replacement barriers altogether over 10 years, reports Xinhua.

The plans are laid out in a document prepared by the Department of Homeland Security for a group of senators who asked the administration to detail its request for border security, a Wall Street Journal report said.

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.

The document, which details only the border-security elements, is not meant to be a complete outline of the Donald Trump administration’s requests, which also involve changes to the legal immigration system and other enforcement measures. 

The Trump administration has already requested $1.6 billion for new barrier in Texas and San Diego for the current fiscal year. Congress has not passed the spending bills for 2018, and wall funding is one of the hang-ups.

The White House has demanded that border security be included in the legislation.