President Donald J. Trump sat down with ABC News’ David Muir today and said that construction of the border wall with Mexico could begin in months. As soon as the materials and other aspects of construction are set to go, the wall is going up. As for payment, the president said that a reimbursement from Mexico would come, saying that’s a 100 percent guarantee. In other words, the American taxpayer would be paying for the initial costs of the wall. Muir brought up Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto saying that they wouldn’t pay a dime for that wall, noting that it attacks the “dignity” of the Mexican people.
The president said that he has to respond that way, but was confident that some payment would come from the country (via The Hill):
"I'm just telling you there will be a payment,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News.
“As soon as we can. As soon as we can physically do it,” he said when asked when construction will begin.
Pressed on a timeline, Trump said: "I would say in months. Certainly planning is starting immediately."
More than 650 miles of walls, fences and other barriers already stand along the 2,000-mile southern border.
Independent estimates peg the cost of completing the physical barrier at between $15 billion and $25 billion. While existing legislation authorizes the construction of border fencing, he would likely need to ask Congress for more money.
Today, the president signed two executive orders that cleared way for the construction of the wall, the hiring of 5,000 additional U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel, more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and a return to enforcing federal immigration laws. The orders also targeted sanctuary cities.