A group of former US national security officials are set to release a statement arguing there is no justification for US President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border. The statement, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, has 58 signatures from prominent former officials, including former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former Defense Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency," the statement reads. It argues that border crossings are near a 40-year low and that there is no terrorist emergency at the border. The president maintains that a wall is needed to stem irregular immigration and the flow of illicit drugs into the country.
While promising to put up a high concrete wall along the Mexican border, Donald Trump said it would cost between 8 billion and 12 billion. That becomes apparent after you look at what's already on the border. After initially proposing to wall off all 2,000 miles, Trump said the wall could run along roughly half of the border, with mountains and other natural barriers blocking immigrants from crossing elsewhere. And on the portion where Trump envisions a wall, there are already 653 miles of fencing--some designed to stop cars, some to stop pedestrians, depending on the likeliest mode of crossing in each section. Building those fences has cost 2.3 billion since 2006.
Soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard keep an eye out for signs of illegal activity along the U.S./Mexico border in the Sasabe District of Arizona Jan. 19. The Pentagon announced Sunday the deployment of 3,750 more active-duty troops to the U.S. border with Mexico. The deployment will raise the total active duty forces to approximately 4,350. "Additional units are being deployed for 90 days, and we will continue to evaluate the force composition required to meet the mission to protect and secure the southern border," the Pentagon said. Roughly 2,400 active duty forces are currently at the border.
President-elect Donald Trump lashed out at the media Friday for reports suggesting he was going back on a campaign vow to make Mexico pay for a border wall with the U.S., insisting Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers for any money Washington spends up front. Top aides reportedly are considering a plan to ask Congress to ensure money is available in U.S. coffers for the wall, while relying on existing law that already authorizes fencing and other technology along the southern border. The funding development was cast in some outlets as a reversal by Trump on his promise to stick Mexico with the bill. In an early-morning Twitter response, Trump called the reports "dishonest" and suggested the U.S. would only be putting up money for the "sake of speed" -- and vowed Mexico would eventually pay it back. The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!
Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump's border wall, the country's president has said in a message to the nation. Enrique Pena Nieto said he "lamented" the plans for the barrier, adding that "Mexico doesn't believe in walls". But he made no mention of cancelling or postponing a trip to Washington on 31 January to meet the new US president. Mr Trump has signed an executive order for an "impassable physical barrier" and has insisted Mexico would reimburse the US for it. Mr Pena Nieto said: "I've said time and again; Mexico won't pay for any wall.