The proposed wall along the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico that has been a centerpiece of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and his presidency will cost nearly double his most optimistic estimate, and take more than three years to build, according to a new internal report from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is expected to be released shortly, according to Reuters.
While Trump has claimed the wall will cost about $12 billion to construct, and Republican leaders Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Mitch McConnell have suggested it will be closer to $15 billion, the Homeland Security’s study says the cost will be at least $21.6 billion.
It will cost more, according to Vanity Fair, because Trump’s estimates fails to account for, “pesky little things the White House did not factor into its back-of-the envelope calculations, like the fact that many areas where the wall would go are privately owned and need to purchased and paid for.”
Of course, Trump’s biggest boast, that Mexico will pay for the wall, has already been exposed as a fantasy. The Mexican government has said in no uncertain terms it will not foot the bill.
Some Trump officials have suggested Mexico will pay through the imposition of a tax of around 20 percent on all Mexican goods entering the U.S. However, that would mean American consumers ultimately would foot the bill.
The Homeland Security report is said to lay out the plan for building the wall along more than 1,250 miles from California to the Gulf of Mexico. About 654 miles are already fortified.
The report that is expected to be presented by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is being prepared as a final step before making a request to Congress for the necessary funds.
A Homeland Security spokeswoman refused to comment or confirm the Reuters story, and the White House said it would be “premature” to comment, as the report has not yet been presented to the President.
Even when it is presented, there is no assurance the President will agree or use that as the basis for his plan to build the wall, which will be one of the biggest public works projects in American history.
There are many in Congress and beyond who believe the wall is not necessary, and that the cost will be even greater once the monumental problem of acquiring the property and constructing it across difficult terrain is factored in.
While Trump has used the wall as a symbol for his get-tough policy on immigration, which helped him get elected, his claim for how it would be financed, what it would cost and when it would be done have already been proven to be untruthful. So he may well ignore the mounting monumental cost to American taxpayers, and that it will come with unforeseen social, economic and political consequences.