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Tag: Border

Report: Estimated Cost & Timeline of Trump’s Wall Skyrockets

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The cost of President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border has soared to an estimated $21.6 billion, according to an internal report by Homeland Security.

The wall also would take 3.5 years to complete, Reuters reports. 

Trump has estimated that the wall would cost $12 billion.

More than 1,200 miles of walls would need to be erected to secure the border.

A White House spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying it would be “premature” because it has not been officials given to the president.

What remains unclear is how Trump will pay for the wall. He wants Congress to approve the expenditure, which he maintains will be reimbursed by Mexico. Mexican officials said they won’t pay for the wall.

Other Stories of Interest

No Arrests Made After Suspects Exchange Gunfire with Border Patrol Agents

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Four days after Border Patrol agents exchanged gunfire with two people inside a van near the Rio Grande in San Benito, no one has been arrested.

Agents attempted to stop the van, which authorities said contained bundles of narcotics, KRGV reports. 

The van managed to flee in the direction of Mexico.

No one was injured.

“We had an agent and a trooper receive gunfire back in December,” Border Patrol spokeswoman Marlene Castro said. “Although the agent was not hurt because he was wearing his bullet proof vest, the trooper was struck in the hip area.  Both are doing fine now. DPS is in charge of that investigation.

“These types of incidents, narcotics smuggling and assaults on agents, do happen beyond the fence.  The main reason being that smugglers are willing to do anything to protect their drug load.  They often attempt to drive their narcotic-laden vehicles into the river to avoid having them seized by law enforcement and ruthlessly resort to assaulting agents to avoid arrest.”

Border Patrol Agents Say Trump Has Boosted Morale

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the biggest supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential election were Border Patrol agents because of the Republicans pledges to crack down on illegal immigration.

Agents have long complained that the border is too porous and doesn’t have enough federal protection.

Now agents are hoping President Trump will change that.

“When Trump was elected, there was an increase in optimism among the agents, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the past few days,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News

Trump has already pledged to hire 5,000 more federal agents, build a wall and suspend “catch and release.”

Agents said morale had plummeted under President Obama, but hopes are now high.

President Trump to Launch Plans Today for Building Wall at Mexico Border

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Donald Trump is moving forward with his plans to build a wall along Mexico, signing an executive action Wednesday to direct federal resources to the project.

Today, Trump begins speaking about his immigration plans, which will be rolled out over the next several days, CNN reports. 

Trump tweeted on Tuesday, “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”

Trump’s first executive action will direct Homeland Security to begin construction of the border wall. In addition, Trump wants to increase staff at Customs and Border Protection by 5,000 to reduce immigrants fleeing violence in Central America.

How Trump plans to pay for the wall remains unclear. He wants Homeland Security to determine how much money is available to fund the wall’s construction.

Trump has insisted Mexico will pay America back for the wall, but Mexican officials said they have no such intention.

Border Patrol Agents Came Under Increasing Attack at Year’s End

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have been attacked more viciously and frequently than previous periods over the past few months.

The agency reported that its agents were assaulted nearly 160 times between October and November, and one agent was nearly maimed, Frontiers reports. 

In December, the level of violence increased, and one agent was nearly maimed. In southern Arizona, one agent was shot at in Cochise County, another nearly lost his dumb while making an arrest, and others were forced to fight to keep their weapons from being used against them, Border Patrol union President Art Del Cueto said.

“It was a back-and-forth fight. The agent almost got his thumb completely gnawed off. The illegal alien fought him, two other agents showed up and he got in a fight with the other two agents.”

Border Patrol, which declined to provide details of the agent who nearly lost his thumb. The agency released this statement:

“On Dec. 24, a Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a suspected illegal immigrant in a remote area near Lukeville, Arizona, when the suspect became assaultive toward the agent. Two more agents responded to assist and the suspect was arrested. All three agents and the suspect were transported to a local hospital, treated and released. The suspect is being held on immigration violations. Assault charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.”

The agent is still injured.

“I’ve talked with him, I’ve heard he has some damage still. He doesn’t have feeling in his thumb yet but from speaking to the agent, the agent did explain he pretty much gnawed his finger down to the bone. The agent tried pulling his finger from his mouth and the guy just clamped down tighter,” Del Cueto said.

Trump Team Requests Documents to Build Wall Along U.S.-Mexico Border

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While many people doubt President-elect Donald Trump can deliver on his promise to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it, his transition team has begun requesting documents and analysis on border walls and barrier construction.

Reuters reports that the team also is requesting information about expanding immigrant detention and aerial surveillance.

Trump’s transition team hasn’t commented on the internal agency memos obtained by Reuters.

CBP officials responded to the memo, saying fencing could be erected along more than 400 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Trump has pledged to be tough on immigration and even said during the campaign that he wanted to remove every undocumented immigrant.

Trump Chooses Retired Marine General Kelly to Head Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to run Homeland Security is retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, a border-security hawk who retired in February as chief of the U.S. Southern Command, the Washington Post reports. 

Kelly will be responsible for delivering on Trump’s pledge to crack down on illegal immigration.

The 66-year-old general served for more than four four decades and has widespread respect in the military community.

The choice for the position came down down to Kelly and Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who many conservatives believed wasn’t hawkish enough about border security.

Donald Trump’s Candidate for Homeland Security Riles Border Hawks

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s potential selection of Rep. Michael T. McCaul for secretary of Homeland Security incensed border hawks because of the congressman’s position on immigration.

McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security  Committee, is perceived by some as weak on border security and a supporter of amnesty, the Washington Times reports. 

McCaul has been frequently criticized by conservatives and border activists for co-authoring the 2015 Secure Our Borders First Act, which ignored the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

“We certainly hope that Donald Trump would not reward a deceptive pro-amnesty lawmaker like Michael McCaul with a Cabinet position,” said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. “That would be very disappointing to all of us that believed his campaign promises to secure our borders and deport millions of illegal immigrants under current U.S. laws.”

The Homeland Security secretary will be a critical nomination for Trump, who has pledged to fight illegal immigration. 

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